His Girl Fridayi tells the delightful story of last century's careerwoman finding her way to wide-eyed, star-struck womanly subjection (but of course in the circumlocutory manner period depictions tend to prefer, involving a Vegetable Lasagna "different man" who's so much of a simp it erubisces the paper and all that). Leaving aside how none of it makes any sense, the last three minutes in the production are spent by Rosalind Russell depicting a Hildy tres comme il faut ; and otherwise running back and forth purposelessly. It's not explained, of course, why, any of it. If the addendum that "it's just how things are" works for you then all the better ; and if it doesn't there's nothing I (or anyone else) can do for you, because obviously there's no such thing as meaning immanent. There's no "why" concrete cars and woolen submersibles don't work out in practice. Yes, I'm very much aware that you think otherwise, but you might perhaps notice that this "thinking" isn't anyone else's problem.
On that solid philosophical basis the film could even be amusing (it certainly intends itself a comedy) ; but it's not aged well in that role. In fact, the overwhelming, shocking poverty coupled with the ceaseless talking at high wpm rates through, and by, and past each other coalesce into a rather indigestible pudding. It's almost like today, except they (the men, they) wear better suits, that's all. I guess it must've been very funny eighty years ago, and, who knows, maybe it'll be funny again in another eighty. Right now it's uncomedic through oversupply, for the same money one could turn on any of the abundant firehoses of similar nonsense, not that anyone sane ever would (or anyone who did long stayed sane).
His Girl Friday is, I suppose, a film that was comedicaly prophetic, is now painfully trite, and will no doubt become interesting. Check back later!———
- 1940, by Howard Hawks, with Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell. [↩]