Private Lives | Chicago Reader

Private Lives

This 1931 adaptation of the Noel Coward play was another valentine from MGM production supervisor Irving Thalberg to his spouse, actress Norma Shearer; she and pearly Robert Montgomery star as an ex-wife and ex-husband who pursue second marriages but find themselves honeymooning on adjoining balconies. Much of the comedy pivots on the passion that fuels both love and hate, as the divorcees run off together and immediately fall to bickering again, though director Sidney Franklin ineptly navigates the romantic tides. Shearer dominates her every scene, which must have been the idea all along. 84 min.

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