Stereotypical scientists and researchers are often easy to poke fun at, as exemplified by films like The Nutty Professor (1963 and 1996), The Man in the White Suit (1951) and the Back to the Future trilogy (1985-90). Finland has produced comedies featuring theoretically-minded characters as well, for example Kuriton sukupolvi (1957), Professori Masa (1950) and Edvin Laine's Isäpappa ja keltanokka from 1950.
As a typical romantic comedy, Isäpappa ja keltanokka is a story about love finding its way to the life of a seemingly hardened grouch. The eponymous daddy Yrjö Tammela (Joel Rinne) is an aging widowed ichthyologist, bedridden due to sciatica and extremely rude to everyone around him. His hostile behaviour has already scared away dozens of maids who were hired to help him and his three kids (Lasse Pöysti, Eila Peitsalo and Matti Ranin) are getting tired of his outbursts as well. Together they devise a plan to hook their father up with a new woman one way or another but the grumpy old man is not easy to tame and only a brisk female doctor named Salmi (Mirjam Novero) appears to make a positive impression on him.
Right from the first scene it is clear that subtlety is not what Isäpappa is going for: a lot, if not most, of the lines are delivered by shouting, the overacting is furious and everything quickly develops into a flat-out farce. There is nothing inherently wrong about such noisy bumbling if it is done right (it also heavily depends on the viewer's mood) but here it feels mostly tiresome and annoying despite the short runtime of mere 70 minutes. The potential lady friends are rushed by so quickly that their scenes do not get to make much of an impact compared to the tempestuous ranting of Joel Rinne; I think at least Siiri Angerkoski would have deserved more screen time and a happier ending as Birgit, a superficially stern colleague of the professor.
Even though the loud rampaging style may have its fans and at points creates a welcomed sense of unpredictability, the story is ultimately a fairly traditional one. Rinne's insults, Heikki Aaltoila's score and some supporting characters (most importantly Oiva Sala as Miettinen, a sarcastic colleague) have their moments but in the end I do not think the film is a success even within its own context – I would rather watch Kuriton sukupolvi or Sysmäläinen (1938) when it comes to knowingly exaggerated romantic roaming.
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