I'll bring up this baby as much as I want!
Andrew Ellington | I'm kind of everywhere | 06/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm kind of shocked that this film did so poorly upon the time of its release. Watching it now, it really holds up as funny, intriguing and charming. I personally love those 30's screwball comedies, and this film is certainly one of them. The slick combination of Hepburn, Grant and that giant cat, as well as witty banter and slaphappy character development help create a highly energized and highly memorable comedic experience.
And to think Katherine Hepburn hadn't done comedy before this!
First and foremost, this film is not about a baby. I thought it was. Well, at first I thought it was and then I saw a still of Hepburn and a leopard and I thought that maybe the `baby' in the title referred to Hepburn herself. Nope; the baby is actually Baby, the name of the leopard that Hepburn's character, Susan, comes into possession of.
The film tells the story of a paleontologist named David Huxley whose whole purpose in life is to finish this Brontosaurus that he has been working on for years. He is awaiting a special bone needed to complete it, and while his wedding is set for the next day, nothing can interfere with his work (according to his fiancée). In an attempt to get some money from a wealthy (prospective) investor, David winds up running into the eccentric Susan and, through a series of mishaps, he finds himself consumed with her company for an entire weekend. Oh, and Susan has a leopard she's not quite sure what to do with.
The film can be over-the-top but I never found this a distraction. Some have mentioned that they found this film annoying and not funny at tall, and I can see that to a degree, but it all has to do with your taste, and I found this very entertaining.
What makes this film work so well is the impeccable timing (and chemistry) between the two leads. I consistently find myself eating crow when it comes to Katherine Hepburn. I have noted that I find her overrated, but that was a LONG time ago and almost every new film I see of hers I have to eat my words because she is rather remarkable. Her performance here is outstanding, and Cary Grant is at his best here. I'm glad he kind of played against type, and it worked for him. His comedic timing is just brilliant here. They make a dynamic pair. Charlie Ruggles and May Robson are also top notch here, layering their supporting roles with needed humor.
To be honest, I didn't catch the technical follies in the film (the split screen supposedly doesn't line up in every shot) so that shows how engrossed I was to the point of obliviousness."