Bundle of Joy (1956)

Image result for bundle of joy movie 1956A salesgirl, Polly (Debbie Reynolds) discovers an abandoned baby boy outside an orphanage and much hilarity ensues when those around her think the baby is hers.

In December 2016, the showbiz world had to face the sad loss of Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher. This post is not acting as some sort of grim memorium. Rather, I came across this film by chance on BBCi Player and it looked interesting enough. I mean, who doesn’t love a good ol’ technicolour musical?

However, this film was quite subpar. I don’t quite know what I was expecting, but this musical fell short of being a good one. Its a remake of a 1939 film, Bachelor Mother, but this film has a few songs clunked in for good measure.

While it was certainly good to see Debbie Reynolds in a film role, I wasn’t very keen on the characterization of her co-star (and off-screen husband) Eddie Fisher. I’m guessing this film was a vehicle for them as a couple but its just so tedious. Eddie Fisher has no charisma at all and is rather bland compared to Reynolds’s tentative ebullience. The comedy aspect of this film is quite boring too. Its borne more of the comedy of social situations which doesn’t really translate very well to the 21st century.

At the same time, the ideological perspective of the film is highly questionable as well. One of the other sales assistants, Freddie, is constantly pursuing Reynolds’ character to an extreme degree. I’m not too sure of this is part and parcel of the ‘comedy’ aspect but from a modern perspective its just so uncomfortable to watch.

Similarly, I think that this film’s underlying message is that a woman with a career cannot exist without a man, is often incompetent and is not complete without the sanctity of a heterosexual union. Of course perhaps I’m being a bit too persnickety but if this is the case then these ideologies were by no means subtle. The music itself was also rather forgettable and just bungled into the film wherever there was a moment of apathy. The dancing in the jazz hall scene was interesting to watch, however.

Ultimately an incredibly forgettable movie but the presence of Reynolds saves it from the eternal hell of my Top 10 Worst Films list…

MY RATING: ** / *****

Image result for Bachelor mother 1939

Bundle of Joy is a remake of the 1939 film, Bachelor Mother. Starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven… 


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