Monday, 1 February 2016

We're Not Married! (1952)

A bumbling justice of the peace conducts six marriage ceremonies before he is actually empowered to do so.  Two and a half years later, his mistake comes to light when one of the six couples attempts to divorce.  As a consequence, the governor's office dispatches a letter to each of the remaining five couples, advising them that legally speaking, they're not married.

So what we have here is basically an anthology piece, where we meet each couple, see the state of their current relationship, and then how they react to the news that they aren't husband and wife in the eyes of the law.  Each couple basically gets 10-15 minutes for us to be introduced to them and learn how things unfold.  That's not really enough to get very invested in any of them on an emotional level, of course, so the tone is definitely light and comic.

Or at least it's intended to be light and comic.  Some of the intended humour hasn't dated well.  The segment involving Marilyn Monroe, for instance, attempts to get laughs from the fact that her husband is the one doing the house work and raising their baby while she pursues a career.  A career as a beauty contestant, mind you.  Hysterical, it really isn't.  Though at least it is better than the segment with the guy who apparently decides to stay married because dating is too expensive.

There are some mildly amusing elements of farce in the other three segments, but on the whole this is a film that stretches its premise mighty thin by the time it is done.

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