Waldo (John Beal) and Irene (Florence Rice) are a young, engaged couple, full of life and hopeful for a great future.
Unfortunately, they’re living with their opposite: Irene’s sister Margit (Myrna Loy), a stuffy and very composed woman who wants to plan every detail of their lives, from their wedding to their daily meals. She designs dresses for a living and is a definite control freak.
Also a problem? Irene may not actually want to marry Waldo… or so she’d like Margit to think.
Irene says that she’s in love with a bohemian artist named Charlie (William Powell) who is the complete antithesis of her sister. Charlie lives in a trailer and cares about art more than most other things.
Margit confronts Charlie, telling him to stay away from Irene… and Charlie begins to take a liking to Margit.
Richard Thorpe directs 1937’s Double Wedding, a black and white comedy from MGM. The screenplay was written by Jo Swerling, adapted from a play by Ferenc Molnar. This film appears in the TCM Spotlight series Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection DVD set.
Double Wedding is funny from the very first scene. The film never becomes a complete riot, but it’s a very pleasant watch with many, many amusing moments.
A lot of this comedy comes from the “bohemian Bill vs. stuffy Myrna” conflict. These are two actors that I love, and for me they’re always a delight to watch, no matter the film. To see them pitted against each other here is a lot of fun. The witty and energetic personality of Bill’s character seems to come naturally to him, and Myrna does such a fantastic job of emphasizing her character’s stiff and stuck-up attitude.
The characters in this film are very enjoyable to watch, but the plot could use a bit more development. There isn’t a whole lot going on here aside from the expected romantic complications, and it shows. This doesn’t ruin the film – it’s still highly enjoyable due to the characters, performers and comedic moments – but it would have had much more of a punch if the story itself was well-developed.
Double Wedding is a fun film, certainly worth a watch or three. It’s certainly not one of the flawless greats of the reign of screwball comedy, but fans of Bill and Myrna will get a lot of enjoyment out of it. The score: 3.2/5