Pat and Mike has an unusually modern premise for a 1950s romantic comedy, examining the psychological barriers that prevent people from achieving their goals. (Adam’s Rib, better known than Pat and Mike, covers more conventional turf: it’s a classic battle-of-the-sexes comedy.) Pat and Mike is every bit as good-spirited and timeless as Woman of the Year is unfair and old-fashioned. Made with an all-pervasive air of effortlessness, and clearly an inexpensive production, Pat and Mike can unjustly be dismissed as slight or minor. It has no scenes of sidesplitting hilarity and its pace isn’t rapid-fire. It’s the kind of comedy that provokes a long, sustained smile because everything about it is so right. No garden-variety romantic comedy, in either plot or character, it’s about hooking up with the person who helps you be your best self.
excerpted from John DiLeo’s
Screen Savers: 40 Remarkable Movies Awaiting Rediscovery
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