Yes, this is another film that I think is deserving of all the praise that it has gotten. Much like HOG WILD, it’s another example of a simple comedy that takes place at home, as well as showing that Laurel and Hardy really did not need supporting actors or actresses to keep their comedies moving. Yeah, there are a few of them here, but most of the short is carried by Laurel and Hardy themselves.
The opening with Hardy at the mirror is a good way to set up the scenario without feeling that they are simply explaining it to you and nothing else. It is interesting to see Hardy berating himself for what he knows was a stupid idea and it works for this set-up. Laurel’s entrance shows a bit of hope at first; Hardy makes it seem like it will be an easy task that they can get done in no time and even have breakfast. Of course, we as the audience know that in a Laurel and Hardy comedy that can almost never be the case.
The funny thing is that at first, it does seem like it will work. Laurel shows himself as being very effective at washing the dishes, but it’s then immediately ruined by Hardy tripping on to the table. The rest of the short is Laurel and Hardy ruining the household as well as Hardy’s clothes and there are many creative ways they do this, such as when they knock the neighbor out, causing the hose to be aimed at Hardy’s house. Towards the end, we once again get a small sense of hope that this will work when Stan seems to finish up cleaning the house, but then things become even worse than before, both on Laurel’s end and Hardy’s end. It’s one of those things you don’t necessarily have to see in order to enjoy; this shows that just a simple cutaway to the results of the events we didn’t see can be just as effective.
There isn’t much else for me to add to what else has been said; HELPMATES is another one of those shorts that is supposed to make me laugh and it does its job well. A definite classic.
10 out of 10