The Talk of the Town ★★★½

I think my hopes were way too high given that this is in the Stevens-Arthur universe or perhaps I was expecting it to be funnier, more of a screwball instead of a straight up dramedy. I wasn’t left disappointed, but it took me way longer to buy it and it nearly lost me towards the end if it weren’t for the last two minutes.

My main objection with the comedy in this is that Cary’s natural talent and comedic timing is completely misused throughout. He doesn’t get much teasing moments that makes him shine on other comedies or enough nonsense for him to go full Arsenic and the Old Lace or Bringing Up Baby mode. Jean Arthur is left to carry the whole comedy in this, because Ronald Colman certainly won’t be the funny guy (though he is extremely satisfactory), which is extremely effective to me, given how much I enjoy her screen presence and persona, but I can easily see other people not being as invested and also acknowledging Grant’s absence in that aspect.

The film starts off extremely strong, highlight to Cary and Jean’s relationship, but it kind of forgets about them and looses fuel in the second act. The middle part is saved by the very rich dynamic between Colman and Grant, which, idk, ¿gay?, but is still very fun to explore and I wish they had given more time for that. 

I think they knew they didn’t need to go this hard on the score, but I’m so glad they did, because is one of the most memorable things about it, other than the fun dynamic between the leads.

I don’t think it ranks too high in my Stevens filmography, or not in any of the leads’ tbh, but I understand why people like it so much and I respect it a lot. It will be revisited again in the future, especially now that I know exactly what I’m signing up for.