Edith Farnham (Mary Astor), a divorcee, is headed to the Snowcrest Lodge with her daughter for Christmas.
Also heading to the lodge is Stephen Blake (Melvyn Douglas), a widower who plans to spend the holiday with his young son.
As for the lodge itself, the manager (Donald Meek), director Mr. Snirley (Romaine Callender), and hostess Miss Peabody (Dorothy Stickney) have high hopes for a wonderful holiday gala. Edith and Stephen are just two of many guests booked for the holiday…
…until a snow storm blocks the road leading to the lodge. Stephen and Edith manage to make it through before the road closes, but they’re the only guests!
Having encountered one another on the snowy road, Stephen and Edith are none too pleased to be stuck together, with no other guests to socialize with. Their respective children, Tommy (Jackie Moran) and Brenda (Edith Fellows), are also eager to keep their parents from falling in love.
And So They Were Married was directed by Elliot Nugent. The film was written for the screen by Doris Anderson, Joseph Anthony, and A. Laurie Brazee, from a story by Sarah Addington.
I’ve made it well-known on the blog that the “hate-to-love” romance is one of my favorite tropes, and this film starts out in that category. Astor and Douglas have a wonderful simmering tension from the moment they meet on that wintery road. It’s a wonder their immediate disdain for each other didn’t just melt all of the snow!
Of course, since she’s a divorcee, he’s a widower, and each is a single parent to one similarly-aged child, they eventually find they have more in common than they’d think, and form a friendship… the keyword there being “eventually.”
The banter between the romantic pair in the beginning is fun to watch, but once they begin to actually like each other, nearly all of the tension dissolves. From then on, the drama and the laughs revolve around their kids’ attempts to keep them apart. No swoon-worthy romance to be had here! But, the viewer does root for their happiness, anyway.
The addition of the children and their scheming adds a Parent Trap-esque family comedy to the film… nearly 30 years before The Parent Trap was made. The plot, of course, goes from reverse Parent Trap to actual Parent Trap when the kids finally realize their parents are better off together.
The child actors can be a little obnoxious at times. Admittedly, I feel that way about most child actors. Luckily, these two also have a few truly funny scenes. And the fact that the adults mistake their scheming for childish crushes adds a few laughs, too.
And So They Were Married isn’t a great film, but a cute, easy-viewing type of comedy. As the title gives away, all ends happily for this blended family, making for a very sweet and just plain fun watch.