Kiss And Make-Up (1934)

HARLAN THOMPSON

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5

USA, 1934. . Screenplay by Harlan Thompson, , adaptation by , from a story by . Cinematography by . Produced by . Music by . Production Design by , . Costume Design by .

Once a promising scientist with a bright future, graduated medical school and went into the burgeoning field of plastic surgery. Now he instructs all his patients to make beauty their number one priority, transforming flawed faces into works of art, prescribing diets and self-care regimens and operating a medical practice/spa where his army of workers help keep business running smoothly, while his appearances on a weekly radio show give him international fame.

The downside of his business is that his patients fall madly in love with him while becoming addicted to his treatments, and their husbands don’t take at all kindly to suddenly being married to someone way out of their league who is in love with a younger, better-looking man. One of them, played by , has left husband for Grant and they quickly get married, but the good doctor soon finds while on their honeymoon that a wife who is always covered in cold cream and on a strict diet is no fun at all, and his adorable “normal” secretary (who is actually stunning, but a brunette) might be more appealing after all.

The film’s raciest moment is the opening scene, in which Grant accidentally gets the adorable to strip her clothes off for no reason at all; after that it’s an opportunity for Depression-era audiences to get their fill of glamorous women while judging them at the same time, presenting plastic surgery as an aspirational indulgence of the mega-rich while reassuring the poor viewer that it’s best to not be one of these shallow people. Most egregious is that the erratic script is trite nonsense that is bogged down by a notable lack of humour or cleverness.

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