Classic Film Guide

Two Weeks With Love (1950) - full review!

Directed by Roy Rowland, with a screenplay by Dorothy Kingsley and John Larkin (his last; his story too) and subdued choreography from Busby Berkeley, this average musical romance comedy set just after the turn of the (twentieth) century features the unforgettable "Aba Daba Honeymoon" song, performed by lead supporting players Carleton Carpenter and Debbie Reynolds. The film's leads are Jane Powell and Ricardo Montalban. Additional support is provided by Louis Calhern as the paternal Horatio Robinson, Ann Harding as his wife Katherine, Phyllis Kirk, and Clinton Sundberg (among others), who plays Carpenter's father.

It's a light, entertaining period piece which recalls summer family vacations at the same resort in the Catskill Mountains with the same people year after year; all the kids and grownups know each other. However, this titled two weeks finds the Robinson's eldest daughter Patti (Powell) outgrowing the annual tradition as she blossoms into womanhood. She wants to wear a corset like the other girls her age including her chief rival Valerie Stresemann (Kirk), especially since there's a newcomer to this summer's festivities: the dashing Demi Armendez (Montalban), a sophisticated performer. Patti and Valerie vie for his attentions with the latter intentionally giving the former bad advice about what a man like Demi wants. This temporarily changes Patti's nature, which puts off Demi; he had initially been attracted to her innocence. Of course, both of her parents (Calhern and Harding) fight Patti's 'premature' education.

Reynolds is a delight as Patti's tomboy (and not so) little sister Melba; she's always had a crush on Billy Finlay (Carpenter), who's always had the same for Patti. Billy and Melba perform together at the camp's traditional end-of-the-vacation talent show. The Robinsons have two younger children too, both boys: McCormick (Gary Gray) and Ricky (Tommy Rettig), whose antics at the lake and with fireworks occupy the parents enough to allow the aforementioned romance to develop. Powell's singing performance - the finale in the talent show - ends with her character being breathless; Patti's ignorant (if well meaning) father had purchased her a medical corset in lieu of the real thing. The expected happy ending is given.

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