Love Before Breakfast (1936)
By on October 17, 2013
||Love Before Breakfast (1936)
| Run time:
Herbert Fields, Faith Baldwin
Carole Lombard, Preston Foster, Cesar Romero
Release Date: 9 March 1936 (USA)
My main disappointment with this film is the choice of leading man. Indeed Preston Foster was primarily a straight actor and unaccustomed to romantic comedy. I simply do not see why Carole Lombard’s character, Kay Colby would have the slightest temptation to fall in love with Foster’s character, Scott Miller, a pushy, egotistical, wiseacre. Perhaps the moral of the tale is that if a man, no matter how obnoxious, pursues a woman long enough, she will give in. The film seems to start out in the middle of the story. No background is given to explain Kay Colby’s relationship with either men. And then before you know it one of them is exiled to Japan and disappears from the middle third of the picture.
Now the film does pick up as it goes along and entertains sufficiently with snappy dialog and boisterous incidents. The "storm at sea" scene is particularly satisfying. Perhaps due to the fact that Carole did all her own stunts, taking all the punishment herself and sparing her stand-in. However, the ending is much too abrupt. All the conflict is resolved in the last few seconds of the movie. The characters are not allowed to play out their feelings for us on screen. Perhaps it has all gone on inside their heads, but alas we have missed it. Overall this film is worth seeing once for Lombard fans, but it does not endear and fades quickly from memory.
The popularity of "Love Before Breakfast" was helped at the time from the success of Carole’s previous film which was still in theaters, "Hands Across the Table". This film would signal her rise to fame and was a precursor to five straight hits in a row over the next two years.
I like Carole Lombard. I think she's one of the most talented, funny actresses ever – and, although this one could not be considered one of her classic movies, it still is fun to watch. A lot of people complain about Preston Foster's role in this movie. It's true that the chemistry they're supposed to have doesn't always work, but I don't think it's the actor's fault – the script is just not that good. It seems to me like we land into the middle of a film. Carole's fiancé is going away to Japan because Preston wants her to himself – and, because he wants her to himself, he keeps finding selfish, annoying ways to get closer. To some up, no one gets why Carole is supposed to be in love with a self-centered, egotistic man. And yet I still like this movie. I pop it up whenever I can't find anything better to do. It's easy-going, if not perfect, and it's amusing. The scene where they're taken in and we discover that Preston's punched Carole is a treat. In conclusion, Carole has made a lot of better films and some of them can be easily found now a days thanks to that great invention that is the DVD (what would we old-movie lovers do if it wasn't for that?), but this one is still worth checking out. I guess anything with her is.
Having now watched Universal’s CAROLE LOMBARD: THE GLAMOUR COLLECTION in its entirety, I can say that of the 6 films included two are classics – HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE (1935) and TRUE CONFESSION (1937) – two more are lesser efforts but still delightful – WE’RE NOT DRESSING (1934) and THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS (1936) – while the remaining two titles are essentially routine and wouldn’t have stood a chance had they been released on their own (the set being devoid of any substantial extras, they could then be considered as such).
That is not to say that this particular vehicle (which I wasn’t familiar with) isn’t a pleasant diversion per se – at 70 minutes, it’s certainly innocuous enough; still, comparing it to the comic gems on offer in this set, it definitely comes up lacking! To begin with, there’s nothing remotely original about either plot (Lombard is torn between two men – one is wealthy and conceited but genuinely in love, the other is ambitious and something of a playboy) or setting (high society); true, this type of romantic comedy was typical for Depression-era America – but it’s among the most trivial examples of escapist fare that I’ve watched!
Besides, Lombard is let down by her leading men – after all, Preston Foster and Cesar Romero are hardly Fred MacMurray and Ralph Bellamy (who played similar, but more rounded, characters in HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE)…and the same thing can be said of director Walter Lang (here demonstrating little of the style conveyed by Mitchell Leisen throughout HANDS, or even the inspired craziness of TRUE CONFESSION). Actually, the whole enterprise feels invincibly second-rate: however, one shouldn’t blame this on the change in studio from Paramount (which made all the other titles in this set) to Universal because, truth be told, Lombard’s next outing – MY MAN GODFREY (1936; also released by the latter) – proved to be one of her best films!
LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST, then, features all the typical ingredients: love/hate relationship, misunderstanding, embarrassment, romantic threat, etc. Richard Carle appears as an elderly gentleman who, in spite of being a bachelor, offers Foster advice on his amorous situation; climaxing with an unconvincing storm at sea, this sequence is nonetheless capped by an amusing – and most unconventional – wedding ceremony presided over by familiar character actor E. E. Clive!
Last Night I watched A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (2011)a movie that supposedly represents a modern day romantic comedy, I didn't get one laugh and the bevy of actresses in that movie all combined couldn't compare to Carole Lombard.
I love Lombard's movies she's always entertaining as well as strikingly beautiful, this movie came out the same year as "My Man Godfrey" and while this movie can't compare to Godfrey I think Carole with her starring role in this film is more of a showcase for her. The plot is nothing special, spoiled rich girl and powerful businessman go head to head, but it's the performances especially the chemistry between Lombard and Preston that make this movie worth seeing.