|"I'm totally sure this time that my elaborate plans will not go awry!"|
|Pictured: possibly best movie dad of all time.|
How have the Hardy family aged? Well, let's take a look.
|"Should I pause to consider the consequences that will entail if my plans go awry? Nah!"|
Aunt Millie is still living with Mrs. Hardy. Marian shows up only occasionally, usually followed by her son Jim, played by Johnny Weissmuller, Jr., in what I assume was a bit of stunt casting, since he is roughly twice the size of his diminutive Uncle Andy.
The huge gaping hole in the film is the absence of Judge Hardy, played by Lewis Stone, who had passed away in 1953. Rest assured, he is not forgotten, especially since a life size, rather grim looking portrait of him hangs over the fireplace in his study, glaring down at Andy and Andy Jr.(played by Mickey's son Teddy, who is cute as a button) when they have their own "man-to-man talk." I may have choked up a little when Andy goes into the study (the whole house is exactly the same) and his father is not there to greet him.
(Also absent are Polly Benedict, Betsy Booth, and the original Beezy. Although there are some flashback clips.)
The late Judge, Andy's own children, and his nephew's "cool" teeny bopper friends (whom Andy does not "get" at all) all serve to emphasize that Andy is a grown man now. And therein lies the flaw in this movie: Andy Hardy should never have grown up. It's just not right. Instead of getting into silly troubles with girls or his jalopy or some other harmless misunderstanding, Andy now attends town council meetings, negotiates contracts, and worries about how he will support his family if he loses his job. All realistic concerns in a grown up world...but it's not really a world in which Andy belongs.
|"Son, don't grow up. It's a trap."|