Starring: Cary Grant, Shirley Temple, Myrna Loy
Director: Irving Reis
Running Time: 95 mins
The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer is an American film about a teenage girl who has a crush on an older man, and begins to spend more time with him after he is told by the girl’s older sister to go out with her until she loses interest in him.
This movie occasionally feels like it’s on a knife edge between a lightweight, throwaway comedy and something altogether much more uncomfortable. However, with a clear eye as to the oddity of its premise, a great sense of humour and hilarious performances across the board, The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer proves a thoroughly enjoyable watch.
Of everything, the best part of this movie has to be its brilliant cast, featuring Hollywood legends Cary Grant, Shirley Temple and Myrna Loy. All three are on top form in this rather underrated movie, working brilliantly as a trio caught up in one of the strangest love triangles brought to the big screen.
As I mentioned, the movie’s premise – that of a charismatic older man (Grant) being ordered to romance a 17 year-old girl (Temple) – seems a little too close to the edge to be just a fun, silly comedy. However, this movie is under no illusions as to what may be construed by its premise, and it does a great job to make the story work in an enjoyable way.
As well as the clearly farcical nature of the plot and the immense reluctance of Cary Grant’s character to have anything to do with the situation, The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer is never as uncomfortable as it may sound at first, and is instead full of laughs from start to finish.
Grant is as charismatic as ever, and also full of the delightful slapstick energy that made him stand out in comedy classics like Bringing Up Baby. Shirley Temple, meanwhile, is a lot of fun in a deliberately precocious role, really playing up the bright-eyed innocence of a teenage girl in with a puppy crush on Grant. Myrna Loy is also on strong form here, showing an enjoyably softer edge than many of her most famous steely performances.
The dynamic between the trio makes the chaos of their romantic triangle all the more fun, and brings delightful levity to what could have been a much, much stranger affair.
Overall, though, The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer is an enormously entertaining movie, making a bizarre premise work so smoothly, and delivering constant laughs thanks to three hilarious lead performances from Grant, Temple and Loy. So, that’s why I’m giving the film a 7.5.