Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So Goes My Love (1946)

So Goes My Love is supposed to be based off the life of Hiram Steven Maxim the famous inventor of the machine gun and several other inventions. The film is highly fictionalized and barely touches on Maxim’s inventions but it is cute and very enjoyable.
            Jane Budden (Myrna Loy) lives in a rural area of New York in 1867 where she raises pigs. She has had enough of living in the country and dealing with pigs so she decides to travel to the city to Brooklyn to live with a cousin. Jane’s goal is the marry someone rich and live happily ever after. On the trolley through Brooklyn Jane meets a man named Hiram Steven Maxim (Don Ameche). He is a very nice sophisticated man but he kind of rubs Jane the wrong way. When she arrives at her cousin’s house Hiram helps her with her bag then promptly walks over to the house where he is staying. Jane is introduced to her cousin’s friends one who just so happens to be Hiram’s landlady. They ask her why she has come to the city and they say she hopes she is not going into politics or working because they think it awful for a woman to do such things. But Jane winds up shocking them a bit anyway when she tells them of her ambitions. Hiram’s landlady tells him about Jane and the next time he sees her not to expect him to be the man she wants.
            At a party Jane dances with all the eligible men of the town. Hiram is also there and shakes his head yes or no at the men she is dancing at the ones who have potential for her and who do not. The only one he says yes to is a man named Josephus Ford who has some money and is captain of the local fire brigade.
            Jane is set to marry Josephus but begins to have some doubts at the wedding when she sees Hiram. She likes him even if he is a bit eccentric and does not have any money. They both like each other and Hiram works his magic on her. He tells her that Josephus and his family have just bought a bunch of pigs not knowing that Jane never wants to see a pig again. This news completely turns Jane off to marrying Josephus. Hiram leaves and Jane follows. They kiss and needless to say Jane does not marry Josephus.
            Hiram and Jane are happily married for several years with a son Percy. They go through the trials and tribulations of being married and having a mischievous young son. One of Hiram’s inventions gains him the attention of a national science museum where they would like to hang his portrait.
            Don Ameche and Myrna Loy were wonderful together they had a nice chemistry. Ameche I have never seen in a film before and I loved him. Hiram was supposed to be a calm gentleman and Ameche played him perfectly. This fictionalized Hiram is the kind of guy I would like to meet! Loy was fantastic. To me this is one of her best acted films; she was funny, dramatic, and sweet. In Parnell it was weird seeing Loy in period dress but in this film she looked really good she did not look out of place or uncomfortable. I think the difference with this film is that she was older (forty-one) and she was not the chic modern 1930s woman out of her element.
            There are so many good scenes in this film. When Jane runs to Hiram on her wedding day they kiss and Josephus comes out looking for her. The camera stays on him for a bit while he is rambling on about what they could have been as a couple and as the camera pulls away Hiram and Jane are kissing. Another funny scene has Percy playing a trick on Jane’s cousin and Jane wants him punished for what he did. Hiram takes the boy outside to get sticks for him to get hit with. He takes Percy upstairs for his punishment but instead of hitting the boy he pretends to test the branches on the bed so that downstairs it sounds like he is really giving the boy a good hitting. Jane cannot take the sound of the loud hitting thinking it is against Percy and that her son is being hurt. She runs upstairs only to see that they are hitting the bed. Hiram did it to teach them both a lesson. I think I died laughing when for a joke Jane gets a cigar and smokes it. She sets herself up to kind of shock Hiram but when he comes home he comments on her dress and brings in some ladies from the neighborhood for lunch. Her whole preparation for smoking the cigar is so funny. An absolutely ridiculously cute scene is when Percy is an infant and he is crying which is disturbing Hiram’s work. Hiram begins to pace about thinking he cannot do something. As the baby cries Jane pretends that the baby is saying something about Hiram and “interprets” what he is saying. As she calmly talks the baby falls asleep. It is so damn cute you would have to see it to understand.
            Now I found some of the thoughts on women quite ironic because Myrna Loy was such a feminist I cannot even imagine what must have been going through her mind when she saw some of the lines in the script. The scene where the cousin’s friends say that women should never enter politics or get a job because that would be awful was the first one that left me wondering what Loy’s reaction was and the second was when Josephus tells Jane “Women shouldn’t think when they have men to do it for them”! I mean I understand that was the mentality during Victorian times and probably among some of the men during the late 1940s but wow. Loy was such a strong, intelligent woman who fought for equal rights in the work force for both women and minorities that I find those scenes/lines to be… I do not know how to properly put it either shocking or ironic.
            So Goes My Love is a good film. I enjoyed it right from the beginning to the very end… actually I wanted it to go on some more. Do not worry about the film as not being true to Maxim’s life do not even think that it is based off a true story. If you can watch So Goes My Love as a cute, sweet, family film than you will enjoy it.