Leo McCarey's Love Affair

Love Affair (Leo McCarey, 1939)

From the recently repraised and rediscovered Leo McCarey, who's brilliant masterpiece Make Way For Tomorrow has been released by the great folks at Criterion Collection, it's like a cinephile revival of McCarey's films. Earlier this year Leonard Maltin was praising his masterpieces like Ruggles of Red Gap, Duck Soup, Love Affair, and Make Way For Tomorrow and many more.

Love Affair co-written and directed by Leo McCarey, photographed by Rudolf Maté and edited by Edward Dmytryk is wonderful gem of American 1930's Cinema. In the way Ernst Lubitsch made wonderful comedies, McCarey offered the audiences of the time many great comical and, read here, romance moments. Michel Mamet french playboy and singer Terry McKay met on a cruise, each is in a relationship but they quickly fall in love between Paris and New York. They agree to meet each other six months later on the top of the Empire State Building to decide if they are gonna marry together...

Made today it would have been a compleasant easy cliché movie full of sugar sweet moments, but made in the 1930's by a first class director like Leo McCarey, Love Affair has some classic cinematic moments and well, a Christmas time ending. I think it was "à la mode" to do that because Frank Capra's Meet John Doe has the same Christmas denouement. Don't get me wrong here, the endings are not the same at all but the same christmassy feeling is used here.

A nice little gem to discover if you liked Make Way For Tomorrow and if you want to dig a little deeper than just the regular box-office made for today romances...

A review by Michaël Parent

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