Top Hat (1935)

After seeing Top Hat again, I’ve concluded that there’s been a tendency in Hollywood romantic films to make the fiancé, who’s usually a good bloke, look silly or inadequate. The “new flame”, though, is a dashing handsome rival who’s got more than the goods on the lady’s pathetically portrayed fiancé. In the Astaire-Rogers musical Top Hat (1935), Jerry Travers (Fred Astaire) slowly dances his way into the heart of Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers)—which may be innocent enough, if it weren’t for the presence of the fiancé. Unfortunately, it’s all another Hollywood glossed,

Sunday cream concoction, a common and tired set-up that’s been in recent movies (You’ve Got Mail for one) and older. I have to say that it leaves reliable, good fiancés in the cold who are made to look ridiculous. When I got my head out of this deceit, I can say, what was I thinking? Why can’t there be the pleasing sound of reliance and trust? Surrounding this, is a stagey, tedious film with boring musical numbers, that while it has witty characters and colourful performances, is mostly annoyingly so. Sigh.

2 out of 5 stars.

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