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Author Topic: That's My Wife (1929)  (Read 695 times)

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Offline metaldams

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That's My Wife (1929)
« on: June 07, 2015, 07:52:48 PM »
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    Watch THAT'S MY WIFE in the link above.

          Full disclosure, I, for reasons I do not fully understand, have never been a big fan of films whose entire premise revolves around cross dressing.  This includes sacred cows like SOME LIKE IT HOT, TOOTSIE, and even GLEN OR GLENDA!  It's not that I'm offended, but I think I find limited opportunities for humor.  THAT'S MY WIFE is a great example.

          Oh, it starts out OK once Stan becomes a woman.  Stan makes a funny looking woman.  Most woman, at least attractive ones, tend to look hourglass shaped.  Stan Laurel is a vertical line, so superficially me makes a funny looking woman.  Not a curve to be found!  The maracas as padding for breasts is initially humorous as well, but once the initial shock of seeing Stan looking "feminine" wears off, the humor dries out for me.  The whole premise of Stan and Ollie being caught appearing in states where it looks like Stan is about to be undressed, or the awkward bear hug dance...I just don't find it funny.  Then whole cliche that appears in everyone of these things where a man is attracted to the woman in drag seems too predictable.

          Before Stan becomes a lady, the first few minutes of the film are quite good.  The theme where Stan wears himself out as a house guest and causes a wedge between Ollie and his wife will be further explored in UNACCUSTOMED AS WE ARE and BLOCK-HEADS.  My favorite part is when Stan and Ollie are pacing around the room, mirroring each other's actions in perfect synchronicity.  More humor for me in that simple little scene than one million cross dressing gags combined.  I also tend to agree with the Lordheath page and enjoy the last shot, Ollie with soup on his head, laughing and accepting defeat. 

          I'm admittedly the wrong guy to review this film.  If you like cross dressing comedy, add about two points to my score.  Two weeks in a row I'm not so high on these Laurel and Hardy shorts, but next week is BIG BUSINESS, one of the all time classics.  Hope to hear from you guys on that one, pretty please with sugar on top.  ;D


    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: That's My Wife (1929)
    « Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 06:28:53 PM »
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  • Regarding cross-dressing comedies, I think that whether or not it works often depends on the strength of the cast. SOME LIKE IT HOT has a pretty good cast and while I don't agree with the many others who consider it the greatest comedy of all time, I think they're able to make it funny enough and do like the irony of the situations. Haven't seen TOOTSIE or GLEN OR GLENDA.

    Regarding this short, I do think that it sort of works. Starting with the beginning, I'll note that one thing I really liked was the idea of breaking things in two, which is done both by Hardy's wife and by Laurel. With Hardy's wife, it's especially funny since she returns to the house specifically to do that.

    Once it gets to Laurel in drag, particularly at the night club, I do like the dance that they do, mostly due to the energy that's put into it by Laurel and Hardy. While the gag of Hardy looking like he's undressing Laurel is a bit weird, I do like the reactions of the guy playing Hardy's uncle. That being said, the drunk guy is pretty annoying, though I'll admit that I laughed at the ending gag of him dumping his soup on top of Hardy, since they did it so late in the short. Hardy himself seemed to be slightly amused at the end, cracking a smile.

    It's nothing spectacular, but I do think that this short makes for slightly amusing comedy. The only other interesting thing to note is that this was directed by Lloyd French, who directed some of Shemp's solo shorts and wrote AN ACHE IN EVERY STAKE.

    7 out of 10