Watch ANOTHER FINE MESS in the link above
Some weeks, I feel like I have so much more to say than the guys at Laurel and Hardy Central and other weeks I feel like they say it better than I ever could. Let's chalk this week up to the latter scenario, and hey, it makes sense. Some films inspire certain people to say more than it would for others, and for me, personally, I don't have much to say about this one. I'll try anyway.
What it boils down to is the main premise of this film is Laurel and Hardy pretending to be someone they're not, and they just don't do much with it. Lots of Ollie showing a guy around a house a bunch of rooms he's unaware of. I mean, that billiard room gag gets old after a while. So does the butchering of Plumtree's name. Lots of Stan dressing up as a butler or maid, it just lacks wit. I will say, while I've made it known I'm not a fan of men dressing in drag as comedy, I like it a little better here. I guess the idea of Stan engaging in girl talk is a little more entertaining than a guy hitting on him, which would happen with so many of these comedies. It's just that half the time, it's so unbelievable a guy would find half of these comedians in drag attractive, and Stan here is no exception. Thelma Todd is lovely here, as usual, and her and Stan do their best with what I consider to be tired material.
This is a remake of what I consider to be the first Laurel and Hardy film, DUCK SOUP. It is more refreshing seeing some of this acted out through dialogue as opposed to title cards, so this wins out on that front, though it lacks the excitement of seeing history unfold before your eyes.
Ultimately, again we have a film where I give this a respectable rating because the comedians involved are fun to watch, and if you threw in lesser comedians, this film would be a real chore. I do enjoy the histrionics of James Finlayson in this one, think the soundtrack is quite good (the musical scores are getting better and this one syncs up well with the film), and the intro where the twin girls speak the credits was fun. This way of doing the credits was done in a few other Roach films at the time.
A lot of people like this film, it even got some audio commentaries on the DVD set. I'll just chalk this up to not my kind of Laurel and Hardy film, and again, click on the Laurel and Hardy Central link above. Those guys do a great job.