Director: David Butler
Cast: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Marjorie White, El Brendel, Mary Forbes, Sharon Lynn, Frank Richardson
Molly (Gaynor) lives in a poor section of town with her friend Bea (White). Jack (Farrell) is a wealthy man who can’t seem to keep his fiancee’s attention. While out driving, he gets into an accident in Molly’s neighborhood and Molly nurses his wounds. The two strike up a friendship, and Jack invites Molly and her friends to come to the Hamptons, so Molly can pose as an heiress and help him make his fiancee jealous.
Sunnyside Up is generally considered the best of the non-Borzage Farrell/Gaynor movies, but I can’t concur. While I haven’t seen all of them, I don’t think it’s nearly as good as Delicious or Change of Heart. It’s a musical, and while Gaynor and Farrell do their best, they’re not exactly musically talented or suited for the genre. Their costars are much more entertaining when it comes to the musical numbers.
The movie is two hours long and so strangely paced. It takes nearly an hour for the actual story to start. We’re given an hour of overly long buildup and pointless musical numbers. So when we do get to the actual story, when things start to really happy, everything seems extremely rushed.
The movie probably would have been a lot more enjoyable were it just told as a straight romantic comedy rather than a musical comedy. It’s not that the songs seem out of place. They just seem completely pointless and rather charmless. They add nothing to the story. If anything, they merely slow it down.
Still, it’s Farrell and Gaynor, and you can’t go truly wrong there. They are one of the most endearing couples of all time. They have amazing chemistry and create perhaps the greatest innocent, idealistic romantic team of all time. They’re just vibrant and great to watch together, despite the films many, many faults.
By Katie Richardson