The Lady Eve


I never know what to make of Preston Sturges. Wildly successful as a writer-director back in the 1940s, Sturges made a number of classic screwball comedies and is still considered one of America's great film directors. Everyone is supposed to love Sturges, and I just don't get him.

When I saw The Miracle of Morgan's Creek — a ribald middle finger to the puritanical Hayes Code — I sat dumbly through the pratfalls and outrageous antics. I considered Sullivan's Travels — Sturges' light-footed justification of his preference for comedies over "important" films — to be scattered and overlong. And now The Lady Eve, his absurdist take on the battle of the sexes, just alienated me. I didn't laugh much and spent the majority of the movie with my brow furrowed, trying to figure out how I was supposed to feel about what was happening on screen.