In Paris, Dr. André Bertier (Chevalier) and Colette (MacDonald), his wife of three years, live in a state of connubial bliss until Colette's flirtatious school chum, Mitzi Olivier (Tobin), visits, and André is tempted to have an affair. Mitzi schemes to get André alone, and whenever he tries to avoid her, Colette pushes them together because she thinks he doesn't like her dear friend. Meanwhile, Mitzi's husband wants to divorce her, so he is having her tailed by a detective. And while Colette's suspicions grow, she finds it increasingly difficult to resist the advances of André's friend Adolph (Ruggles). In the end, they both confess to their indiscretions and cheerfully forgive each other.
One Hour With You provides examples of the following tropes:
- All Musicals Are Adaptations: This is one of the first musicals to be based on a film.
- All Men Are Perverts: Adolph, who constantly flirts with Colette, his friend's wife.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Both André and Colette turn to the screen and directly address the audience from time to time.
- Easily Forgiven: André and Colette agree that they love each other too much to make a big deal out of their respective infidelities.
- Gay Paree: The setting.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- There is a few Ho Yay-fuelling moments, such as Mitzi and Colette kissing on the lips, and Adolph's butler admitting that he lied about a costume party so that he could see whether Adolph would dress up in his men-in-tights Romeo costume.
- After being asked to leave the park by a cop, Colette and André rush home excitedly ... to the bedroom, but that's not before this:Police officer: [confronting them] Hey! You can't make love in public!André: I can make love anywhere!Police officer: No, you can't!Colette: Oh, but officer, he can.
- Obligatory "Pre-Code Jeanette MacDonald in her undies" scene. Lampshaded when Colette is excited to show off her new underwear that is "too stunning for only a husband to see".
- Mitzi is asked about the painter who created her portrait, and she replies with a wink, "One night, I found out what an artist he was!"
- When showing off André, Colette whispers something inaudible to Mitzi and the two of them wryly gaze at him as he gives them an embarrassed, "I heard that" glare. Although this isn't elaborated on, given the plot of the movie, it wouldn't be far-fetched to assume that Colette is proud of her husband's skills and/or his qualities.
- André's house party dilemma when Mitzi asks to meet him in the garden. Since she undid his tie, if he stayed inside where his wife was, Colette might assume that his open collar meant he'd been up to no good and/or fix it, but if he joined Mitzi, she could fix it back, although she might try and seduce him first.
- Happy Marriage Charade: Mitzi's marriage to Professor Oliver. Neither of them like each other and cannot wait to be free.
- Have a Gay Old Time: At the Bertiers' party, Adolph asks, "Colette, when are we going to dance? Oh, when are we going to be gay?"
- Insatiable Newlyweds: They're a little past the newlywed stage, but André and Colette are still pretty insatiable, as they happily inform the audience.What a little thing
like a wedding ring can do
It allows a thrill
when we start to bill and coo
I can squeeze you here
I can squeeze you there
And I'm never told to handle with care
I don't have to stop when I kiss your hand
Oh, it's grand!
- Intercourse with You: The song "What a Little Thing Like a Wedding Ring Can Do" (quoted above). If there were by some chance any doubt about its meaning, André and Colette sing it while frolicking (clothed) on their bed.
- Loves Me Not: At the party, Mitzi undoes André's tie and tells him to meet her in the garden. He plucks a flower to choose between staying inside with the rest of the party or following Mitzi. Needless to say, it takes him a while to get through the process.
- Mistaken for Cheating: It's not exactly a mistake, but Colette suspects the wrong person. She thinks André is pursuing the beautiful Mlle Martel.
- Really Gets Around: Mitzi, and she's proud of it. She exploits Colette's adultery assumptions to flirt with André.
- Sleeping Single: Averted, as this is The Pre-Code Era. The Bertiers have a large double bed, and they're even shown sleeping side by side.
- Title Drop: In song at the dinner party, as Mitzi and Adolph each beg their respective targets for "one hour with you."
- The Unfair Sex: Mostly averted. Colette probably wouldn't have given in to Adolph if she hadn't already realized André was up to something, but André's straying is presented as mainly the consequence of Mitzi's aggressive and persistent pursuit.
- Your Cheating Heart: The whole story.