The Lady Eve

Screening Tuesday February 14 at 7pm

The Lady Eve Film Review

Emilee Bae

It’s not every day that one stumbles across a truly good romantic comedy.  Sure, we can spend fifteen minutes scanning through Netflix before eventually settling on something mildly enjoyable.  But this Valentines Day, look no further than the Campus Theatre.  Weirdly enough, this movie is just as good for date night as it is for single Pringles.

The Lady Eve (1941) was written and directed by Preston Sturges, who works his magic with witty dialogue and careful imagery.  This film follows Barbara Stanwyck’s character, Jeane, a charming con-artist who worms her way into the heart of Henry Fonda’s Charlie Pike.  As Jeane’s business partners chip away Charlie’s fortune, he continues to fall head over heels for the first woman to catch his eye since spending a year conducting scientific research in the Amazon.  What kind of scientist is Charlie?  He’s an Ophidiologist.  That’s right.  He studies snakes.

But when Jeane’s cover is blown, he dumps her and escapes her nefarious clutches.  Or so he thinks.  Not to be outdone, Jeane infiltrates Charlie’s hometown under the guise of the Lady Eve and sends him falling all over himself once more.  From the falling (in love), Eve and her apples, the snakes and the hidden sixes, Sturges leaves an abundance of sweet easter eggs littered throughout this movie.  Every time the audience catches one, it’s like getting let in on another juicy secret.

But what sets The Lady Eve apart from most of the other Rom-Coms you’ve ever seen is that the ending isn’t so obvious and sweet that it’ll melt your teeth.  The audience isn’t left waiting for the characters to catch up with them on the other side of every predictable plot twist.  Instead, this film is as crafty and cunning as its devious leading lady and as innocently funny as the poor foolish Charlie.  

Although The Lady Eve might appear to be just another Rom-Com, it truly is a gem of the genre.  This film, and the symbolism behind almost every cut, prop, and witty line, epitomizes Sturges’ genius.  It is well paced, well acted, and laugh out loud funny.

Emilee Bae (’18) is a Film/Media Studies and Classics double major.  On campus, she is the Event Co-Chair of the Film Club and Assistant VP of Risk for Alpha Chi Omega.  She loves all kinds of movies, but is most drawn to independent films and book adaptations.  After college, she hopes to write and direct.