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Film / Man Wanted (1932)

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A male assistant?!
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Man Wanted (1932) is a romantic comedy/drama starring Kay Francis, David Manners, and Una Merkel.

Tom (Manners) finds a job as an assistant for a woman magazine editor, Lois (Francis). Although he’s hesitant about working under a woman, thinking that her gender might get in the way of taking her seriously (hello, 1932!), he soon finds himself liking the job, but also falling for her anyways. Lois, on the other hand, is happily married to husband but is put off by his lack of ambition.

Things come to a head when Tom declares his feelings to Lois but she rejects him. He decides that it’s best to halfheartedly marry his fiancé, Ruth (Merkel), but Lois’ relationship with her husband disintegrates, creating an opportunity for the two lovers.

Not to be confused with the Hong Kong drama of the same name.

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Tropes:

  • Alcohol Hic: Tom and Andy get extremely drunk and exhibit this trope. They even let their bathroom overfill with water
  • Career Versus Man: Averted completely! Tom admires Lois’ work ethic and is happy for her to keep her job once they’re together.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Ruth is relegated to this stock character who is dubious about Tom working for a woman who she believes to lack morals (for not being a stereotypical housewife).
  • Disposable Fiancé: Ruth. So much so that she can immediately trade Tom for Andy when she finds Tom working late with Lois.
  • Double Standard: Averted: Tom decides to treat Lois like he would a man, meaning like anyone else in a higher position.
    Tom: Can't you get it through your fat head that, today, they're just as many serious-minded women in business as men. When you meet them you don't have to treat them as if your out on a party.
    Andy: Well, what did you do?
    Tom: I didn't talk to her any differently than I would to a man.
    Andy: You're all alone with her.
    Tom: Well, what of it?
    Andy: Well, why didn't ya?
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  • Girl Friday: Surprisingly Gender Flipped for the era.
  • Office Romance: Tom makes it clear that he’s interested, but Lois rejects him — at first. When she lets loose her idle husband, she’s more than happy to begin a relationship with Tom.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: The rare Gender Flip version where the Tom is an assistant in love with his boss.
  • Mean Boss: Averted: Lois is looking for a hard worker and gets one with Tom, and she rewards him for it.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Although Lois inherited her position at the magazine, she does a hell of a job and is dedicated to it.
  • Rich Idiot With No Day Job: Lois’ husband is a polo player, and that’s pretty much all he does.
  • Rom Com Job: Lois is a magazine editor.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: Averted. But Tom would really enjoy it.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Tom only proposed to Ruth after he got blindingly drunk.

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