She married the man she loved. So did I. Every woman does, if she can.
Norma Shearer is a mostly forgotten actress today, except among the most serious film buffs, but she won an Oscar for this pre-code drama in which she plays a wife waking up to the reality of infidelity. Her husband is well-played by Chester Morris; he has some charisma and a kind of bullish tenacity. He’s not an evil man, just a man who can’t understand why his wife can’t understand that men just do things sometimes and she needs to learn to understand. It’s a surprisingly mature film; there are some of the typical early-talkie histrionics, but, by and large, the movie really works and the acting is pretty solid, particularly in the key scenes. Robert Montgomery is really good in a supporting role; he has a scene late in the film with Morris that is both quite funny, but also effective in a dramatic way. The film has a strong thematic through-line with the struggle of Shearer’s character to see things, as she puts it, from a man’s point of view. It’s a compelling exploration of that idea and I found the movie to be really effective. I’m not entirely sure about the ending, which gets a bit corny, but I’m not entirely sure another ending would have worked either. It’s an interesting film, surprisingly thoughtful, surprisingly well-written. It occasionally gets sketchy; people weren’t completely up to snuff on writing this much spoken dialogue for movies this close to the silent era maybe. But on the whole, it’s an entertaining and interesting movie. 3 ½ stars.
tl;dr – thoughtful and generally well-acted drama explores issues of infidelity and gender roles in a surprisingly mature fashion. 3 ½ stars.