Penny Serenade

Director: George Stevens
Year Released: 1941
Rating: 2.0

It's supposed to be a tearjerker, but this film - of Cary Grant and Irene Dunne adopting a child - skips around entirely too much to prove very effective: it literally goes from prosperity to poverty, and from health and happiness to death too quickly to allow for a proper emotional response. I like the idea of music linking the pieces together, however - music is the soundtrack of our lives as someone (Dick Clark?) once said - and Grant gives an unexpectedly powerful speech to a judge about keeping his child despite falling on hard times. I could have done without the lengthy demonstration as to how to wash and change an infant; I could have also done without little Trina (age 6) beaming after she finishes every line of dialogue, just to let us know how cute and special she is, and how awful her destruction will be.