Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Love Expert (USA,1920)

This romantic comedy has an innocent plot about a wealthy young student (Babs) who was more interested in understanding love than in physical or intellectual activities, like most of girls of her age. As she was not properly focused on her lessons, she ended up being sent back home by the boarding school.
As a punishment, her father sent Babs to her aunt`s house in Boston. Upon her arrival, Babs realized her aunt had been engaged for six years with a guy called James Winthrop who worked as a manager of Bab`s father`s branch office in Boston, but there was no wedding in sight anyway. Even more, Babs observed that they were not really in love with each other and it was a relief to the girl because she had fallen in love with her aunt`s fiancé. Fortunately her aunt soon found out she was in love with another man, which prevented a family feud from taking place. 
However, there were other problems, as James Winthrop could only get married after his sisters and elderly aunt married too, as he had to take care of the three of them while they were still single. Babs made her best to assure that the three of them would get married with proper suitors, so she could also marry her sweetheart. Babs` innocent determination may seem outdated for modern audiences, but her pure heart and optimism remain captivating, as she never gave up to fight for her own happiness.
After having read that tropical climate could make people more “susceptible to the influence of love” (Yes, that was an extremely biased and stereotypical statement), Babs decided to take them all to Palm Beach. Therefore, she faked a telegram of her father, calling Mr. Winthrop to go there and bring Babs and his own family with him and many funny situations happen, including the expected happy end.
 This movie is remembered because in real life Constance Talmadge was the sister of famous silent actress Norma Talmadge and Nathalie Talmadge, who became best-known as the first wife of comedian Buster Keaton. Although it was not apparently easy being a member of such prominent family in show business, Constance had a talent of her own, being a natural and convincing actress, with good comedic timing. Prior to his film, she had been part of famous film Intolerance (USA, 1916) by the equally famous director D.W. Griffith. It was her first major role in cinema.

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