March and Young both knew how to play comedy and well, despite both of them primarily known for drama. With something like Nothing Sacred among March's best films who would doubt that? As for Loretta, she's every bit as sparkling as Irene Dunne at her best.
To make the analogy complete, there's even a Ralph Bellamy part in this film, ably done by Allyn Joslyn. In fact in many ways Joslyn's the best thing in the film.
The lead characters seem to me to be based on that noted theatrical couple, playwright Charles MacArthur and actress Helen Hayes. The film begins with Loretta Young taking a curtain call and giving a farewell to the theater. She and her hubby want to settle down and enjoy life. But Loretta should have suspected something when March wasn't around to take the bow with her.
Good reason because that isn't March's idea at all. In fact he's written a new play for his wife, but she wants nothing to do with it. She's made her mind up and that breaks them apart. And good old Allyn Joslyn, stuffy banker in the Ralph Bellamy tradition, is ready on the rebound. He catches her all right, but the game isn't over, not from March's point of view.
Bedtime Story starts out a little slow, but really makes up for it in the end. That final scene as the newly married Joslyn and Young are trying to get down to business is absolutely hysterical. The situations are funny enough, but Joslyn's reactions are what really put it over. It's something borrowed from A Night At The Opera.
In fact I spotted elements from The Awful Truth, His Girl Friday, and Twentieth Century as well as the Marx Brothers classic. And producer B.P. Schulberg and director Alexander Hall make it all work.
Rounding out the cast in familiar type cast parts are Helen Westley, Robert Benchley, Eve Arden, Joyce Compton and Grady Sutton. You just mention those names and any devoted film buff can tell you exactly what they played.
I'm surprised Bedtime Story isn't rated higher by fans of both leads. It's a real gem of a screwball comedy, don't miss it.