Chuck Vincent was truly an outstanding director who had a flare for great comedy and great drama, and he shot both with a surprisingly affectionate flare. This is one of his lesser seen films but it's cast and director automatically make it worth watching.
Misbehavin' opens with God and The Devil playing chess over souls. God is sweet and faggy while Satan kinda looks and dresses like a NYC cartoon mobster. They soon get into an argument over whether love or money will prevail in life, and decide to put a wager against Rita Lawrence, a chronic divorcee who makes her way through life by divorcing her husbands and getting half their fortunes.
Rita soon finds herself being courted by two men, one a rich old fart worth millions and the other, a mild mannered nice guy who isn't worth a dime (Eric Edwards). Meanwhile, the mother of her latest ex is trying to kill her to save her and her son's fortune.
Misbehavin' hearkens back to the early Hollywood produced slapstick comedy features of the 1930s and 40s and is filled with ridiculous gags and characters. The premise is ridiculous and the dialogue is over the top, but all in good fun and both are perfectly enhanced by the use of some of the most amusing library tracks I've heard in an X Rated film (including a great rip-off of the Marlboro theme).
Vincent creates a light, fluffy, and very amusing comedy that never knocked me out of my seat with its humor but proved an extremely fun and enjoyable film viewing experience. Everyone's at their slapstick best and both Gloria Leonard and Leslie Bovee are great as rich snobbish women. The subplot involving Rita's ex-mother-in-law trying to kill her offered some fine vaudevillian style gags all played to the nines.
Well shot by Larry Revene, the film is rich and colorful and the compositions are tight. Vincent makes his upstate New York setting as much of a character in the film as as everything else and the film happily moves from stables, to fine dining restaurants, to lakeside terraces, to lavish upscale homes, etc. all adding to the lovely production design and narrative effectiveness of the film.
While Misbehavin' is not at the level of Vincent's best films, it is a fine and extremely enjoyable little comedy with a clever plot, witty dialogue, and high production values.
A trailer for anothr film.
Not that great. The picture is presented open matte where is should be matted to 1.85:1. Color levels are stronger than most but the film still suffers from soft edges and some ghosting. Better than some, but not great.
A handsome and clever comedy which while not at the level of the best Vincent work, is still better than most other hardcore films, period.