Bringing Up Baby ★★

As I was watching Bringing up Baby, my little brother wandered into the room, observed the chaos unfolding on the screen for a good ten minutes, then told me, "That girl's just as annoying and crazy as you are."

I'd be flattered to be likened to Katherine Hepburn, but this is one jibe that I hope is completely untrue. Hepburn's character, Susan, is one of the most childish, selfish characters I've ever come across. The fact that these, er, qualities are the basis of Bringing Up Baby means that I disliked the film just as much as I disliked Susan. But goodness, Hepburn is so pretty. Cheekbones, style, poise: all top-notch. And she seems very comfortable playing an absolutely insane character, which I suppose is quite a merit.

Bringing Up Baby is an exercise in aimlessness. A film doesn't necessarily need to have a point, but it does require a narrative force in order to seem like it's more than a bunch of slapdash scenes cut together to make a jumpy, mindless mess. Unfortunately, that's exactly what Bringing Up Baby ends up feeling like.

I love screwball comedies. I love fast, witty dialogue. But I can't quite figure out why I didn't love Bringing Up Baby. All manner of apparently amusing things take place on screen, and admittedly, I did laugh a few times, but I could just never bring myself to care.

Cary Grant was the only thing I loved about Bringing Up Baby, which is a stunning turnaround from my previous (and unfair) dismissal of Grant as a plastic, unlikable presence. Grant plays marvelously against type in Bringing Up Baby, portraying a bumbling, nerdy, and very adorable paleontologist. And I don't know what Hepburn's character was smoking when she said that he looks handsomer without his glasses, because Grant in glasses is my absolute favorite.

Grant's comedic timing is pitch-perfect, and his chemistry with Hepburn is excellent. The rest of the cast performs well, too. It's only too bad that Hepburn's character is such an annoyance, and that the film is so terribly in love with complete chaos and terrible pacing.

Bringing Up Baby feels like a load of noise and nonsense. I love nonsense, but I don't like noise. And this particular brand of noisy nonsense is just not my cup of tea.

Rida liked this review