Easy Living

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Year Released: 1937
Rating: 3.5

Leave it to Preston Sturges to write a script this incredibly daft and somehow make it work: wealthy banker J.B. Ball (Edward Arnold) finds out his wife purchased a $58,000 sable coat (adjusted for inflation in 2020: over a million bucks), fights with her over it and throws it off a balcony where it hits lowly worker Mary (Jean Arthur) in the head and it changes her life.  No matter how ridiculous the premise is it flows with ease through its twists: Mary tries returning the coat to Ball but he buys her a hat instead, she gets fired from her job, she gets offered an opulent hotel room from a financially strapped hotelier and shares her flat with a certain John Ball Jr. (Ray Milland), who doesn't know about Mary's connection to his father.  It's presented with such grace and vivacity and features characters full of life: it ends up with smiles all around, even though it shouldn't.  The title adjective is misleading: the hours Mr. Sturges spent at the typewriter trying to make this plausible were (most likely) anything but.