I know this is the Ginger Rogers/ Fred Astaire blogathon, but I feel very compelled to write about this film.
Monkey Business is truly a peculiar picture.
It’s almost a knockoff of most comedies from the mid-30s, but it has its own unique flavor and flair. Thanks to the performances of Rogers and Grant, the movie takes on a different dimension
Directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, Monkey Business is a witty, charming, slapstick-filled comedy about a husband and wife duo who are just crazy for each other.
Dr. Barnaby Fulton (played by Grant) is a chemist who is a bit dowdy. His wife, Edwina (played by Rogers), a dutiful woman who cares for Barnaby, is doing her best to get by. One day, being the mad scientist that he is, Mr. Fulton decides to concoct a “youth exilier” that – you guessed it, keeps you young.
In typical classic Hollywood fashion, it all goes horribly, horribly, wrong.
When testing his new potion on his lab monkeys (horrible, I know) one them escapes and ends up knocking over several vials thus mixing concoctions that shouldn’t go together. Somehow this gets poured into the office’s water cooler, and all hell breaks loose.
Barnaby, wanting to see if his mix actually worked, he takes a few swigs of the water hoping to see the effects.
Lucky for him, it does. He spends the rest of the day roaming around downtown with his secretary Lois (played by Monroe), acting like a stuck-up, 20-year-old young man.
He changes his hair, his attitude and his clothes – even his wife doesn’t recognize him.
Edwina sees this behavior and drinks some of this elixir to spite her husband. With both husband and wife affected by this brew, the rest of the film sees the Fultons go through a number of different situations.
From befriending some school children to getting into fights with the locals and even having their in-laws worrying about the state of their marriage.
The movie ends, funnily enough with a quote that says, “you’re only old when you’re young,” perfectly summarizing the entire ordeal in six words.
Lead by the direction of Howard Hawks, Monkey Business is your standard slapstick comedy, it isn’t the best and it certainly isn’t the worst.
It certainly is a funny movie.
It was one of the first pictures that I saw when I first got into classic films, I loved it, but now, looking back at it, it doesn’t have that same flair that it once did. Maybe my tastes have changed, I’m not sure, but I will say that this is a very solid picture.
If you haven’t seen it I suggest you do, if you haven’t and are dying to see it, please do. It isn’t the best comedy I’ve seen, but if you have a few hours to kill, I definitely suggest it. It’s funny, witty and a ton of fun, you definitely won’t regret it.
To read more pieces in this blogathon…click: here.