Life With Father (1947) – Charming Review

6dhxykxujrqw3yLife is strange: I ended up watched this by a freak of chance after a potential watchlist got rejected. In my defense, the search criteria were somewhat vague:
(“I am OK with Westerns.”
“Ok, so–”
“I like movies that are good to watch, you know? Movies that are good for you.”
“Wholesome! Yeah! That’s what I watch! Mostly.”
“So I do not know about most of these Western movies because they have a lot of gun-fighting and shooting and so on.”
“You said you wanted to learn how to shoot…”
“Well, that is different. That is a different thing.”
“True, but–”
“Do you watch Amish movies?”
“What?”)

So instead of Face of a Fugitive or Canyon Passage (“The guy in it is really handsome.” “Oh really.”), or Roman Holiday, or Remember the Night, or Beauty and the Beast (“What year is it?” “Well….did you wanna watch the original version?” “I’m going to say no.”), or Secondhand Lions, some random youtubing produced this.

It’s based on a stage play, based on a memoir written by a guy named Clarence Day Jr about his home life and lovably pompous father. It stars an effortless William Powell, beautifully ditzy Irene Dunn, and an extremely young and squeaky-voiced Elizabeth Taylor. And that’s about it. Well, there’s the plot, which is really a series of loosely related but highly irregular events in the would-be calm, sedate, and well-ordered life of Clare Day Sr.–starting with unannounced visiting relatives, and from thence running the gamut of upset housekeepers, high-strung maids, impecunious ministers, an elder son desperately needing a new suit so he can kneel before Elizabeth Taylor (just roll with it), a younger son’s electronic burglar alarm, both of the older boys’ attempts at selling patent medicine, and his wife’s near-death brush with said snake oil.

The connecting thread to all of this is the fact that Clare has never been baptized. And while he is adamant that he won’t be kept out of Heaven on a technicality and that more importantly, it’s absurd for a grown man to be baptized, the entire force of an ingenious wife and household is bent against him…

There’s also a ceramic pug dog.

This is a cute, enjoyable, entirely wholesome movie–and that’s about all that needs to be said.

Rated: Frankly, I sympathize: pug dogs really are pretty stupid looking….

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