The Awful Truth ★★★★

I have a sordid history of bad-mouthing beloved 1930s screwball comedies and wondering why Cary Grant is so revered, but The Awful Truth was a lot of fun, avoiding most of the tropes that annoy me so much. Grant was good, and it helped that he played a character who wasn't a chronic idiot, but the real delight for me was Irene Dunne, who I don't think I've seen before. She was so unusual in her comic tics, understated and always very human but also game for some wackiness.

Last month I complained about a Leo McCarey movie being mushy, dull-edged and full of contrived antagonism, but it all worked perfectly here -- well, except for an extended sequence with a car radio that I didn't find funny or worth the trouble everyone made over it.

Kind of weird, in retrospect, to consider that this Hays Code-era movie is really about whether or not a married couple is going to fuck before midnight. Maybe it snuck in just in time to avoid censorship.