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Joy of Living

(1938 b 91')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A Broadway star supports her parents but is persuaded by a wealthy playboy to have fun with him instead.

Margaret Garret (Irene Dunne) sings in a Broadway play and is acclaimed, but her under-study, sister Sarina (Lucille Ball), cries. Margaret is given a new song to learn and is groped by fans while leaving. Dan Brewster (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) rescues her by carrying her to her car; but she has him arrested. Margaret finds her twin nieces have tied up maid Harrison (Jean Dixon). Margaret sings to them "You Couldn't Have Been Cuter" and falls asleep. Dan drinks with the policeman and Oswego (John Qualen). Harrison tells Margaret that taxes and her family use up her $10,000 a week. Her father Dennis Garret (Guy Kibbee) drinks while her mother Minerva Garret (Alice Brady) complains as Sarina noisily practices singing. Margaret goes out, and Dan rides on her rear fender. She rehearses with her driver Mike (Warren Hymer) and sings "Just Let Me Look at You." Margaret sees Dan and takes him to the police station for mashing again. Dan insists on being arrested and summons Margaret to court. Dan asks her to sing to the judge and admits he was wrong. Dan is sentenced to six months; but Margaret objects and reluctantly agrees to supervise his probation twice a week.

Dan tells Margaret he left his island of Paradise for her and shows her his boat. She runs off without her fur coat, and he tries to return it; but she won't see him. Dan persists. On radio Margaret sings "What's Good About Goodnight" and speeds up when she gets a note Dan is sailing. She rushes but tells Dan she wanted to see him gone. Dan rescues her from fans and wants her to have fun on $2. He gives her beer and drinks coffee. Margaret gets drunk. Dan has her record the song "A Heavenly Party." They go roller skating and fall several times. Dan drinks three pitchers of beer, and they slap each other in fun. Dan tries to kiss her but hiccups.

In the morning the twins find Margaret and Dan asleep and arouse the family. Dan tells Margaret how she invited him. They laugh as her family listens. Her parents complain the scandal will ruin the show. Dan says nothing happened, but Margaret tells him to get out. Dan prepares to sail, and Harrison tells Margaret, who calls the police to stop him. Margaret goes to Dan and asks him to marry. Dan says they must hurry, and the judge says Dan must now report seven days a week. Dan tells Margaret they are sailing at nine, but she says she has her show and family. They argue, and Dan says he will get it annulled. Margaret finds her mother crying, and Sarina suspects Dan is a fortune hunter. Margaret tells Sarina to go on for her and gives her her shoes to fill. Margaret leaves barefoot in the rain and is joined by Dan.

This charming musical comedy encourages the audience to forget their troubles and have fun as Margaret finds release from a show-business family that brought her up on work. Yet in the real world how many have enough inherited wealth not to work?

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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