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The Gay Divorcee

The Gay Divorcee(1934)


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After passing through Paris, popular American dancer Guy Holden and his best friend, English lawyer Egbert "Pinky" Fitzgerald, land in London for the final leg of their vacation. While waiting at the London docks, Guy sees pretty American Mimi Glossop struggling with her dress, which is snagged in one of her aunt Hortense's trunks, and offers his help. In his haste to free Mimi, Guy pulls too hard and splits the back of the dress. Although furious at Guy, Mimi accepts his coat and his calling card, then storms away without revealing her name or address. Soon after, Mimi returns the coat anonymously through a hotel bellboy, further frustrating Guy, who is now madly in love with her. The desperate Guy drives the streets of London in search of Mimi and by chance crashes into the back of her car. Mimi takes off, but Guy pursues and eventually corners her in a park. After he proposes to her, Mimi tells Guy she cannot see him again, but accepts his telephone number and promises to call. Later, Hortense, who was once engaged to Egbert, brings the unhappily married Mimi to Egbert's law offices to discuss divorce proceedings. Apprised that Mimi's husband Cyril, a neglectful English geologist, has refused to grant Mimi a divorce, Egbert advises that a professional co-respondent be hired. Unaware that Mimi is the object of Guy's obsession, Egbert then convinces his lovesick friend to accompany him to the seaside resort, Brightbourne, where the co-respondent is to rendezvous with Mimi. In Brightbourne, Egbert meets Rodolfo Tonetti, the foppish Italian co-respondent, and tells him that his "password" with Mimi will be "Chance is the fool's name for fate," a line spoken earlier by Guy. That night, while Tonetti searches the hotel for his liaison, whom he has never seen, Guy spots Mimi in the hotel restaurant and immediately resumes his romancing. However, when Guy then casually utters his line about fate, Mimi assumes that he is her co-respondent and grows instantly cold toward him. Although confused by Mimi's sudden hostility, Guy agrees to come to her hotel room at midnight and there does his best to flirt with her. Egbert, meanwhile, finally connects with a bemused Tonetti and directs him to the correct room, while Hortense pulls Mimi aside and informs her that her assessment of Guy is mistaken. After Tonetti enters her room, Guy demands an explanation from Mimi, who finally confesses her mission. Egbert and Hortense then rush back to London to secure the needed detectives, and Mimi convinces Guy to go along with the scheme and accept Tonetti's presence. Defying Tonetti's orders to stay in the room, Mimi and Guy sneak off, using the shadows of paper dolls to make him believe that they are still there, and pursue their romance on the hotel dance floor. The next morning, Hortense and Egbert, having been unable to find detectives, bring Cyril to the hotel. Although at first defiant and unyielding, Cyril gives in to Mimi's divorce demands when a hotel waiter unwittingly reveals to the group that he had met Cyril under a different name and with a different "wife" in tow. While Mimi and Guy celebrate her impending freedom, Hortense and Egbert announce that they were married on the train from London.