Let Us Evaluate “That Uncertain Feeling”

It is after a talk with a psychoanalyst that Jill (Merle Oberon) develops an uncertain feeling about her marriage to Larry (Melvyn Douglas)—this in the film, That Uncertain Feeling (1941), by Ernst Lubitsch—and she starts pulling away from him.  But Jill’s marriage is not a bad one.  Soon, nevertheless, she takes up with a frowning pessimist (Burgess Meredith) who is not the man for her because he couldn’t possibly be the man for any woman.  Still, a divorce is in the works.

Lubitsch’s movie, a comedy, is rather slight, and the subject of a couple’s desire for sensible reunion was funnier in 1939’s The Awful Truth.   Also it could be asserted that Feeling is not entirely convincing except that Oberon and Douglas have a way somehow of making it convincing.  Besides, it’s romantic comedy, as as such it is fantasy with the ring of hard truth.  It isn’t one of Lubitsch’s best, but it is wry and skillfully acted.

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