It’s an interesting sign of how times have changed to see that this was the “Best Picture” winner at the Oscars back in the mid-1930s. This film would probably be dismissed today as a fairly average romantic comedy, but it actually was sort of novel at the time. The notion of the “re-marriage comedy” as a sub-genre didn’t really exist before this film appeared, and director Frank Capra ended up solidifying elements of the romantic comedy (and arguably the screwball comedy) that would stick around to this day. The story and characters are simple, and much of the film is predictable, but between the clever writing and the great performance given by Clark Gable, it still manages to be highly entertaining. It’s easy to get tired of the old stereotype of the obnoxious, arrogant, manipulative man forcing himself into the woman’s life until she falls in love with him, but Gable makes the character likable, and even made the character so clever and funny that he became an influence on the comedy of Bugs Bunny. The pacing is nice and speedy, and the witty dialogue exchanges are often so fast that they make today’s films and TV shows seem sluggish in comparison (and at the very least they rival the clever dialogue exchanges in the Smith/Coleman years of Doctor Who). It’s not my favorite film, but it’s a smart, masterful, influential, and exemplary film.