The Talk of the Town

The Talk of the Town ★★★★

A philosophical screwball comedy? The zany story of a socialist accused of arson who hides out in the airBnB of his childhood crush, who is in the process of renting it out to a stuffy law professor. Identity switches and zany misunderstandings abound, but this movie also has the time for multiple winding conversations about the nature of man, the rule of law and the limits of objectivity. It sounds dreary (and it does get a little long) but Stevens and the three leads make it breeze by. It's weird seeing Cary Grant play someone so earnest, although thankfully he's still a snide dick. Jean Arthur is divine; her performance is ground zero for the "gorgeous but relatable flustered klutz" archetype that would rule rom-coms for the next seventy years. Ronald Coleman (who I've somehow never heard of even though he was nominated for like, five Oscars) is terrific in a difficult-to-make-likeable part. I genuinely can't remember the last time a love triangle kept me guessing up until the last minute about who the heroine would end up with. Made all the more amusing by the fact that they're all clearly in love with each other.