Thursday, August 7, 2008
Reducing (Charles Reisner, 1931) D+
A silly and completely stupid Marie Dressler vehicle that wouldn't be worth mentioning except for Dressler's performance. It's no Min and Bill, but Dressler does her best with the second-rate material and actually manages some laughs. Reducing is about a rich beauty salon owner (Polly Moran) who invites her poor country sister (Dressler) and her family to come live with her in the city. The two families start bickering right from the get go and eventually a love triangle between the daughters of Moran and Dressler and a rich man drives the two families apart. When something "unmentionable" happens to the rich daughter, she runs to Dressler and together they work out a solution that brings the Dressler and Moran back together. My main gripe with this film is that the scene endings feel completely abrupt and don't come to a natural conclusion. Lines are faded out and jokes are introduced but not fully explored or, worse, they cut a joke right in the middle.