Fatty and Mabel Adrift
begins with Fatty (Arbuckle) and Mabel (Normand) very much together. A stylized prologue shows a close-up of each enclosed in a heart-shaped outline, which Cupid then unites with a well-aimed arrow. But a third heart appears, holding a rival for Mabel's affections. When the plot kicks into gear, we see Fatty and Mabel enjoying life on a farm, getting married and starting life as a wedded couple in a new house on the seashore. Then twin crises erupt. One is caused by the pesky suitor, who hires the thuggish Brutus Bombastic to eliminate Fatty from the scene. The other is caused by a mighty storm, which sweeps Fatty and Mabel's house out to sea. Their faithful pooch swims to shore with a note pleading for help, which arrives in the form of the Keystone Cops - zooming to the rescue in motorboats - and an elderly couple on a bicycle built for two. The action moves at a speedy clip, thanks to director Arbuckle, and the uncredited cinematographer serves up some lovely views of the sea and the setting sun. All this plus Normand at her most charming. Not a bad way to be adrift.
By David Sterritt
Director: Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
Producer: Mack Sennett
Screenplay: Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
With: Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle (A Farm Hand), Mabel Normand (The Girl He Loves), Frank Hayes (Her Father), May Wells (Her Mother), Al St. John (The Neighbor's Son), Luke (Teddy, The Keystone Dog), Wayland Trask (Brutus Bombastic), Glen Cavender (I. Landem), Joe Bordeaux (chauffeur), Jimmy Bryant (robber)
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