It Should Happen To You

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A 1954 romantic comedy, written by Garson Kanin, directed by George Cukor, starring Judy Holliday. And the very first movie appearance of a guy named Jack Lemmon. Sheer filmic history alone is almost enough to watch this.

Judy—I call her Judy—plays Gladys Glover, just laid off from a Manhattan modeling gig. Depressed, she wanders into Central Park, where she meets Pete, a documentary filmmaker played by Mr. Lemmon. Gladys is endearing, and who wouldn't fall for her? Pete sure does, but Gladys has other goals. Specifically: big-city fame. Being a creative airhead, Gladys employs unconventional means. Spying an empty sign space overlooking Columbus Circle, she rents it to contain (simply) her name: Gladys Glover.

Since this is a movie, it works. Sooner than you can say "Daniel J. Boorstin", Gladys is famous. And, to Pete's consternation, she's rapidly moving out of his league, and (worse) being wooed by a rich sleazy womanizer (played by Peter Lawford).

It's rare for romantic comedies to veer from standard plotlines, and this one is not an exception. But it's entertaining enough. You can see why Judy Holliday had a stellar, but way too brief, movie career. She has a fine handle on her ditzy character, and she has a few modeling scenes where she has to put on a big phony smile. And, believe me, it's authentically phony; it takes some pretty decent acting skills to pull that off.

Last Modified 2012-10-03 11:40 AM EST