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You Can't Ration Love

You Can't Ration Love(1944)

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At Adams College, student Marian Douglas has master-minded a plan to "ration" dates in response to the school's wartime shortage of men. Female students are restricted to a certain number of dates per man, and must buy "date" coupons, whose cost depends on how high the man is rated. Co-ed Betty Hammond becomes frustrated when she uses up her coupons to date Pete, a handsome student who rates thirty points, and Marian takes over all of Pete's time. Because Pete's grades are slipping, he is pulled from the varsity musical show, and Marian is assigned to tutor him. When bookworm Johnny "Two Point" Simpson auditions for the show, the women laugh him off the stage because of his prudish rendition of an outdated song. Betty, however, is inspired to make Johnny over so that his rating will increase and Pete might again become available. After Johnny accepts Betty's apology regarding the audition, the two start dating. Betty orders a new haircut and wardrobe for Johnny, then administers dancing, kissing and romance lessons. The "new" Johnny falls in love with Betty, but Betty continues with her plan to date Pete, even though she has fallen for Johnny. Betty's roommate, Bubbles Keenan, spreads the news about Johnny's transformation, and as a result, an all-female audience screams when their new heartthrob takes the stage at the varsity show rehearsal. A brawl erupts among the women after Johnny finishes his song, and when Dean Pettigrew is nearly stripped naked by the man-hungry mob, the faculty cancels the "man-ration" and decides instead to open a canteen for women. When Johnny then learns about Betty's ruse and refuses to take her calls, she becomes the laughingstock of the campus. Hoping to end Marian's new monopoly on Johnny, Betty drops subtle hints that lead Marian to believe that she and Johnny were secretly married and that she is now pregnant. Marian becomes immediately sympathetic to Betty, and arranges with the other co-eds to snub Johnny. Johnny is mystified until Bubbles' boyfriend Kewpie explains the rumors. Johnny furiously denies everything and leaves college to enlist in the Army. On the opening night of the canteen, Marian hears about Johnny's denial and sends one group of students to retrieve Johnny from the train station, and another to retrieve a justice of the peace. When Betty's lie is revealed, a mob of women descend on Johnny, and he and the judge escape to a back room with Betty, Bubbles and Kewpie. Johnny and Betty immediately marry after clearing up their misunderstanding.