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Film / Brief Moment

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Being depressed never looked so glamourous.
Brief Moment (1933) is a Columbia Pictures drama, starring Carole Lombard and Gene Raymond. Based on the S. N. Behrman play of the same name, the film was directed by David Burton.

Abby Fane (Lombard) and the rich Rodney ďRodĒ Deane (Raymond), are truly in love even if his snobby family isnít quite convinced of Abbyís intentions. Theyíre married anyway, and after six months and a hangover too many, Abby is tired of Rodís love of drinking, partying, and drinking, all in that order, everyday, all day. As a former working-girl, Abby knows that Rod is wasting his potential on his rich excesses, but Rod isnít the working type and his failed attempts at holding down a job create a divide between the newlyweds.

This film displays the following tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Rod needs an early pick-me-up every morning. If thatís not a sign for severe alcoholism, who knows what is.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Abby asserts that Rod could make something out of himself if it wasnít for his family indulging him in everything. This man has never had to work towards anything in his life, ever.
  • The Chanteuse: Abby sings in a nightclub, and itís one of the major reasons why the Deaneís dislike her.
  • Credits Gag: The beginning credits show the first title card on Times Square, then the camera slowly dollies into the card and the credits proceed as usual.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Dating what the snooty family hates: Gender-Inverted, as Rod dates a nightclub singer that his family dislikes.
  • Idle Rich: The Deanes to a T. Even when Rodís brother Franklin has a job with their father, itís just to sit around and mull about, not contributing anything to the company.
    • Rodís monthly allowance is $4,000 which is equivalent to over $75,000 in todayís money. And it all goes to gambling, drinking, and partying.
  • I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Steve is truly in love with Abby but understands that they can't be together. He also helps set up a reconciliation between her and Rod because he cares that much about her.
  • Gold Digger: Averted. Abby truly loves Rod, and sheís upset when the newspapers paint her as a gold digging piece of work.
    Abby: [reading the local newspapers] Oh, dear. She nabs millionaire. She gets her man. Banker's son this. Millionaire's son that. They certainly make me out a high-class gold digger.
  • Just Friends: Abbyís best friend, Steve, is madly in love with her, and she loves him, too, but not in that way.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Abby believes all the Deaneís were raised to care about nothing but themselves and their money. Theyíve never had to work for anything in their life, so they treat people who do have to work for a living with contempt.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Abby wears several slinky bias-cut numbers.
  • Shirtless Scene: Gene Raymond in the shower ainít a bad sight.
  • Upper-Class Twit: All of the Deanes.
  • Uptown Girl: Working-girl meets millionaire with no day job. It doesnít work out well.
    • Steve mentions to Abby that she stepped out of her class and is suffering for it. He doesn't mean it in the sense that the Deane's are better than her, but rather that they don't understand the ways of the other and could never really work well together without understanding each other's class.
  • With Friends Like These...: Abby is convinced that Rodís friend Sigrift is a bad influence since he brings out the worst in Rod. And as Rod finds out, Sigrift doesnít really care about Rod, just the good time they can have together.
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: The affairs of the Deaneís make headlines in various newspapers.