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Film / Made for Each Other

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Made for Each Other (1939) is a romantic drama film directed by John Cromwell, starring Carole Lombard, James Stewart, and Charles Coburn.

Johnnie (Stewart) and Jane (Lombard) are head over heels in love, but Johnnie’s family and his boss don’t seem to approve. The film goes through their marital struggles as they live through several ups and downs, and the horrific challenge that makes their marriage stronger in the end.

This film was the only onscreen pairing of Stewart and Lombard. Not to be confused with the 2009 rom-com film of the same title starring Christopher Masterson, Danny Masterson, and Bijou Phillips.

This film shows the following tropes:

  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Johnnie gets drunk after his high school reunion, mostly because he feels like a failure. He proceeds to wake up the whole household with his antics.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: After only spend a few days in Boston, Johnnie and Jane are married without really thinking about any long-term consequences.
  • Love at First Sight: Johnnie helps Jane get something out of her eye, and well, they get hitched soon after.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: It’s a literal race against the clock trying to get the special serum to treat little Johnnie’s pneumonia, and the flyer goes through a winter storm, a crash, and an almost fatal land to get the serum to the hospital.
  • Magical Negro: Lily to Jane. She gives her some wise advice that seems helpful at first, but Jane realizes she doesn’t have Lily’s patience to pull it off.
  • Mean Boss: Mr. Doolittle (Coburn). He doesn’t value Johnnie’s hard work at all and passes a promotion over him for his lazier coworker. It’s implied that it’s done to spite him for rejecting his niece.
  • New Year Has Come: At the New Year’s party, Johnnie and Jane decide to get a divorce until
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Johnnie’s mother is the epitome of passive-aggressive towards her new daughter-in-law. She subtlety complains and nitpicks everything Jane does and almost drives her insane with anger because of it.
  • Race Against the Clock: The last act is basically this trope. Little Johnnie is dying from pneumonia, and the only serum that can save him is far away in Utah. Through rough winter winds and stormy weather and a spectacular crash, the pilot makes it and gives Johnnie the serum he needs to be saved.