Love Crazy (1941, Jack Conway)

Apparently Myrna Loy and William Powell made a bunch more movies together besides the Thin Man series. This one came between Another Thin Man (3) and Shadow of the Thin Man (4). A miscommunication comedy full of contrived obstacles to Loy & Powell’s marriage. He spends an evening at a bar with ex-girlfriend Gail Patrick (Lombard’s bad sister in My Man Godfrey, Irene Dunne’s rival in My Favorite Wife) and wifey Loy schemes to get even by kissing on hunky neighbor Jack Carson (Red Garters, Arsenic and Old Lace). But then Loy thinks Powell has lied about some detail and leaves with the hunk, starting divorce proceedings. Powell finds that he can delay the divorce if he’s declared insane, so now it’s a fine line between staying convincingly crazy and winning his wife back.

Some unusual sights: Powell acting wide-eyed nuts instead of cool/collected/drunk. Florence Bates as Loy’s mother crosses an important line. She’s supposed to be a comic character who’s a constant annoyance to the leads, but she overplays and becomes a constant annoyance to the viewer. I remember her playing a similarly unbearable role in The Tall Target, but fortunately with far less screen time. Didn’t recognize Elisha Cook Jr. (sex-crazed drummer in Phantom Lady) as the elevator boy. From the writers of Blackmail with help from Charles Lederer, just off His Girl Friday.