Tuesday, July 21, 2020

#2020PopCultureResolution - Penny Serenade

Penny Serenade

Director: George Stevens

Length:  117 minutes

Cast: Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edgar Buchanan

Release Date:  April 241941

A woman on the verge of divorce recalls her heartbreaking attempts to adopt a child.


One of the things I have enjoyed most about my #2020PopCultureResolution event is discovering actors and directors whose work I am really enjoying. Cary Grant falls into this category so I was particularly excited to check out this month's pick of Penny Serenade.

Penny Serenade revolves around a couple on the brink of divorce. We look back, via flashbacks, on the events of their relationship and what brought them to their current state. It is a movie that is guaranteed to make you cry and probably more than once. Its drama is steeped in realism that makes it really work on the audience.

Cary Grant is his usual charming self in this one. This is a role that he seems well suited for. His chemistry with Irene Dunne is what holds every other aspect of the movie together. You buy that they love one another.

There is a feeling of nostalgia throughout this movie that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I think it stems from the journey of romance, marriage, parenthood that this couple takes being recognizable. This type of story arc was (and often still is) steeped in to the media we consume. You feel for this couple and their pain because you recognize their story. 

The romance starts out so light and joyous. It has a few laughs thrown in and some genuinely swoon worthy moments that Cary Grant sells completely. Its these moments that make the sadder, more heartbreaking parts of their journey felt all the more sharply. Their initial meeting is a particular stand out moment.

As sad as this movie is, I ended up feeling buoyed with hope by the time the credits rolled. It is therapeutic in a way and it is a perfect movie to put on when you want to have a good cry. I would only offer thr spoiler warning of
for those who need it.

A classic for so many reasons and one that I found holds up as worthy of a watch today. It is currently my favourite Cary Grant movie and I do not see anything unseating it from that throne any time soon.

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