ADeanna Durbin from her lushest period, and
maybe there's the rub. Universal couldn't spend its way out of a hole an
awkward narrative dug, as here where simple misunderstandings
drive a long and frustrating second act. Durbin is marginally less pushy
than before; she'll even cede a play's lead in deference to actress mother Kay
Francis, whose aging past stardom is an issue as it was for Francis herself.
Durbin was almost old enough to romantic partner Walter Pidgeon rather than
being a pest that slows him down. The story might actually have worked better
if they'd waited a year to make it and let Durbin/Francis be love rivals for
Pidgeon. Universal wanted Deanna's girl-adult transition to be slow as
possible, that understandable for stretch of revenue, though by
It's A Date, we're ready to graduate past kid stuff and let DD do a little
onscreen of what accounts (like Jackie Cooper's) indicate went on offscreen.
Another oddity here is withhold of song; for such a long sit (103 minutes),
there's surprisingly little music. It's A Date was bought by MGM for a remake
with Jane Powell and disappeared for a stretch till TCM revived it (WB being present-day owner). Now it's
the only Durbin they reliably run, but elements look to need a refresher before
Warner Archive DVD release.