While watching Trouble in Paradise, an Ernst Lubitsch film, in a script written by Billy Wilder, I must say my expectations were set rather high!
And I was not disappointed. The scene where Gaston Monescu pretends to be Baron, is only improved when he discovers his lover is a thief. The pair played by Herbert Marshall ( Gaston) and Miriam Hopkins ( Lily) could not be happier to discover the others indiscretions.
But when the Baron sets his sites on Madame Colet, the heiress to a perfume empire, things threaten to disrupt the happy thieving lovers.
A stolen handbag, a 20,000 franc reward, and a memorized safe combination later, Gaston is soon running her household as her personal secretary.
What makes this film not only a gem, and we’ve been finding a few lately ( The Good Fairy) is the excellent writing.
Nothing tugs at your heartstrings more than Lily pleading with Gaston to choose her over the beautiful rich girl.
“I want you as a crook, I love you as a crook, I worship you as a crook. Steal, swindle, rob! Oh but don’t become one of those useless good for nothin’ gigilos.”
M. Filliba, played by Edward Everett Horton in classic character actor style, is the bumbling on again, off again lover of Madame Colet, destined to surface at exactly the wrong moment. See the daring and scandalous robbery that brought Lily and Gaston together threatens to be revealed when its victim, M. Filliba, runs into Gaston at a party.
With no chance at all of coming outta this thing, Gaston and Lily decide to make a run for it, and escape while they have a chance.
There’s just one problem.
Madame Colet’s got a line that makes him want to stay.
“But I don’t like you. I don’t like you at all, and I wouldn’t hesitate one second to ruin your reputation,” and she doesn’t mean professionally.
As everything begins to unravel, you can’t help but be unsure as to who it is you want him to end up with, or if you want him to get caught or not,
And when that lovely unpredictable ending shows up, you’ll realize it couldn’t have happened any other way.