It’s time to look at an old romance comedy film. It’s definitely an interesting film with a premise that may not be the most original, but at the time I’m sure there weren’t many other titles quite like this one. It’s handled rather well and I was glad that the dog looked good the whole time. The Awful Truth is a fun movie and that alone is enough to put it above many other films in the genre. After all, this genre usually only worked back in the old days when the writing could handle such a plot.
The film starts off with Jerry getting a tan. He was supposed to have been in Florida for the last few weeks but it turns out that he went somewhere else instead. Jerry figures that with this tan nobody will ever know the truth. His friend happens to run into him so the cat is out of the bag, but the guy agrees to keep the secret. Jerry arrives home, but his wife Lucy isn’t there. She shows up hours later with Armand and states that nothing happened between them. Armand’s car just broke down the road so they had to walk back the old fashioned away. Jerry doesn’t believe such an old excuse and Lucy also pieced together that he wasn’t actually in Florida. Since both suspect that the other may have been cheating they decide to call for a divorce. It will take a while for the divorce to be finalized though so until then they just move to different apartments. Both of them decide to go for a rebound, but can they really get apart from each other so easily.
Naturally a film like this has both parties continue to escalate their attempts to sabotage the other. Usually you will have 3 questions about this. 1. Who started it? 2. Who escalates past the point of being reasonable first? And 3, who is the one who decides to be the better person and apologize? Well, I have to say that Lucy is guilty of the first two and Jerry of the 3rd so you can see who I was rooting for here. Granted, we really don’t know what Jerry was doing in the first scene of the film. I’m inclined to think that he wasn’t cheating and he just didn’t feel like going to Florida but lying to your wife is never okay in any circumstance. Lucy’s story was rather cliche and hard to believe, but it’s safe to say that she was being true to her word. I do think that having Armand escort her all the way home was a bit much though and the guy seems like a jerk.
How do you walk into someone’s house with a big grin like that? Armand seems to think that he owns the place and as he didn’t grow up around here he also doesn’t understand many of the subtle signs about staying away. He has to be told to get out before getting the message. When he shows up the last time I was definitely rooting for Jerry to knock him out. This guy just seems suspect the whole time and I can see why Jerry would be opposed to the lessons after this.
Going back to the start, Lucy was quick to suggest the divorce though so that’s why I have to say that she was guilty of starting this. They could have talked things out instead of being so rash. You could make the case that talking things out was exactly what Jerry was trying to do at first. Next up is who escalates the issue and that’s barely even debatable in favor of Lucy. Lucy goes on the rebound first as she decides to go with Dan. Keep in mind that she doesn’t even like the guy and is just using him to get to Jerry. Jerry is a bit obnoxious by playing with his dog so loudly, but that’s extremely minor if anything and Lucy probably deserves it for stealing the dog away. She doesn’t play with Mr. Smith (The Dog) at all so she just wanted him to spite Jerry. Jerry is always playing with him and we see throughout the film that he really cares about the dog. Jerry got Dan and Lucy to leave so he was finally able to enjoy himself.
While Jerry does tease Lucy quite a bit, he doesn’t ultimately stand in her way. In fact when Dan’s mother starts trying to sow seeds of doubt in Dan’s mind about Lucy Jerry is quick to defend her. Yeah, he overdoes it with the praise and Lucy doesn’t feel that it’s sincere but it does convince Dan and the Mom that it’s okay. If it was the reverse situation Lucy wouldn’t have done the same. What further proof is needed than the later scene where Jerry is trying to have a good first impression on the family of his latest girl. Lucy shows up and acts drunk as she keeps making Jerry look like a liar. She makes him look terrible the whole time until he is dumped and then she gets him in trouble with the cops for no reason. Finally she refuses to apologize at all in the end so Jerry has to be the bigger person about it.
Long story short, I wasn’t a fan of Lucy. She seemed to be a lot more mean spirited and possessive compared to Jerry. She has every right to be a little upset that Jerry didn’t trust her more in the beginning, but aside from that it seemed like she was just holding a grudge the whole time while Jerry actually moved on and supported her. I liked Jerry, but of course he did have his faults. He is a chronic liar and is just as guilty of the rebounds as Lucy. At least he is a very amusing character though as he is always making one liners and subtly insulting the side characters.
Meanwhile, Dan is the most important of the rebound characters. It’s almost a shame since he is portrayed as a very nice guy. The issue is that he was absolutely desperate to get Lucy as he even tried making friends with her Mom to have an opening into the house. He doesn’t understand when he is being insulted either and so you can’t root for the guy. Not to mention that he should have stuck up for Lucy if he was serious about her instead of letting the Mom slander her name the whole time.
What the film does really well is handling the snappy dialogue. It’s one of those things that I have always liked about the old films. The dialogue is really back and forth with characters getting better strings of dialogue in a few minutes than some films have for their whole duration. That’s definitely no small feat. The film’s pacing is also really good so you won’t be getting bored either. It’s just a very strong all around title and probably one of the best romance films that I’ve seen. At this point it’s safe to say that if you want to watch a good romance film, always make sure that it’s part comedy. That just makes the genre a whole lot better.
Overall, The Awful Truth is a fun film. It also finally has one of the characters explain the concept of a rebound which is spectacular since most films have it happen without acknowledging this. If you just divorced someone and are looking at someone new within a few days then you know that something went terribly wrong. I recommend checking this film out even if it’s just to appreciate that line of dialogue. Still, it’s hard to picture you not enjoying this film at least a little bit since it’s just a lot of fun.