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The first couple, Steve and Ramona Gladwyn (Fred Allen and Ginger Rogers) have the funniest moments of all five. However, two and a half years after their marriage, they live in a totally hostile atmosphere, and they don't need help from that thunderstorm outside in the opening waking up segment. Avoiding each other, slamming doors, not saying a word--imagine what this couple think about each other. They are hosts of a radio breakfast program that mentions products of their latest sponsors. As Steve puts it, we're "having a bit of good, clean, nauseating fun over the bacon in eggs in the morning." We actually get a sample of their show, the Glad Gladwyns, and it's funny: "I did what so many society women do these days. I went to Madame Yvonne's Hairdo Heaven Madame Yvonne uses the Sensational Hairdresser. It contains that new mystery ingredient... chicken fat!"
The second involves Jefferson and Annabelle Norris (David Wayne and Marilyn Monroe) of Senatobia, Mississippi. Mrs. Norris has just won the Mrs. Mississippi beauty pageant, and I would definitely have voted for her. While she's out winning contests, her husband is stuck feeding the baby and doing the kitchenwork. However, Annabelle's agent has bigger plans, to expand this to the national level, which means more stay-at-home for the increasingly disgruntled Jefferson. That is, until he opens the letter. It's interesting to see the view of house-husbands in the 1950's compared to today.
Couple number three are Hector and Katherine Woodruff (Paul Douglas and Eve Arden). Despite the judge describing them as talkative, "yakkety yak yak", it's quite the opposite. Their situation is similar to that of the Gladwins, except that they get along slightly better. Thing is, there's an air of boredom. There's hardly anything to talk about and Hector seems to remember the days when he used to party, to the displeasure of his wife.
Frederick and Eve Melrose (Louis Calhern and Zsa Zsa Gabor)--ah yes, that couple. Mr. Melrose, an oil tycoon is pleasantly surprised when his wife suggests she meet him at his usual hotel where he retires to when conducting business in New Orleans, and she particularly asks, "don't forget to register for me." What follows is a show of deceit, until the letter shows up. It's the registration form showing 5 June 1951, which if I do the math, reveals that the first marriage by the judge was done Christmas Eve 1948.
Wilson and Patricia Fisher (Eddie Bracken and Mitzi Gaynor) have a trying time. Wilson, called up for the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre, presumably Korea, is not only shocked to know his wife is pregnant, but he has already gotten the letter, and he is being shipped overseas. His sergeant is totally unsympathetic to the problem, saying that he should try not to get shot. The view of 50's morality of illegitimacy is interesting when seen from today's eyes.
There is one goof that is seen only once. When Mr. Norris gets the letter, we see that there is just his name, city and state--no street address. Either Senatobia is small enough that the mailman knows everyone by name, or he is telepathic. And one wonders if all the letters were like that.
An interesting collection of five stories, with all performers doing their best, but notable for a young and still very beautiful Marilyn Monroe. Victor Moore would later be a plumber in The Seven Year Itch, also with MM, and this is the second of four films David Wayne appeared in with MM. Ginger Rogers would appear with MM in Monkey Business.
We're Not Married is a comedy that succeeds exceedingly well. The acting is superb all the way around, and some real truths about marriage are to be found within and among the laughter the film generates. Although Marilyn Monroe does not have one of the more significant roles in the film, her performance was impressive enough to land her face on the cover of Life magazine alongside a caption referring to her as the new talk of Hollywood. 1952 was the real breakout year for Marilyn, and this deeply amusing film has a lot to do with that fact. Do not watch it just for Marilyn, though, as We're Not Married is a great joy to watch in and of itself.