Innocent of the charge of infidelity, a husband tries everything to prevent divorce, including pleading insanity and pretending to be his own aunt. Love Crazy (1941) is a William Powell/ Myrna Loy comedy which runs the gamut from witty banter to pratfalls.
The onscreen chemistry of Loy and Powell in all their films is much-celebrated. In her autobiography Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming, Myrna Loy discusses their onscreen harmony in their first ever movie together - Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
From that very first scene, a curious thing passed between us, a feeling of rhythm, complete understanding, an instinct for how one could bring out the best in the other. In all our work together you can see this strange — I don't know what ... a kind of rapport. It wasn't conscious. If you heard us talking in a room, you'd hear the same thing. He'd tease me a little and a kind of blending emerged that seemed to please people. Whatever caused it, though, it was magical....That magic can be seen throughout Love Crazy, whether Loy is wriggling her pert nose or Powell is chuckling nervously over his own folly.
Powell sums up the chemistry thus in Screen Couple Chemistry by Martha Nochimson:
When we did a scene together, we forgot about technique, camera angles, and microphones. We weren't acting, we were just two people in perfect harmony. Many times I've played with an actress who seemed to be separated from me by a plate-glass window; there was no contact at all. But Myrna... has the happy faculty of being able to listen while the other fellow says his lines. She has the give and take of acting that brings out the best.
Loy and Powell are so chummy, people have long thought they must have been lovers off screen as well. In her autobio, Loy dismisses this idea:
We became very close friends, but, contrary to popular belief, we were never really married or even close to it. Oh, there were times when Bill had a crush on me, and time when I had a crush on Bill, but we never made anything of it. We worked around it and stayed pals, in this world today, nobody seems to understand how you can just be terribly close and love somebody a whole lot and not sleep with him. If Bill and I had been loves, then we would have had fights, And if we'd been married, it would have been worse.
Watch Love Crazy for another dose of the famous Powell/Loy charm. Also, hilarious are Florence Bates as the mother-in-law who invites herself to their anniversary dinner. Jack Carson had me rolling with laughter as the perpetually shirtless archer who needs his torso free.
- The Thin Man (1934) is an obvious choice for more Powell and Loy banter. You can't go wrong with it.
- Florence Bates plays another daffy intruder in A Letter to Three Wives (1949).
- Jack Carson takes an hilarious turn as a Hollywood cowboy in The Groom Wore Spurs (1951).