The Crimson Playgoer
Jean Harlow in Fairly Entertaining Movie of Bohemianism
A tradition has grown up among the motion picture companies that the life of a newspaperman is one abounding in liquid refreshment and lacking in any excess of work. The reporter as typified by the talking screen is most cynical, always ready with a laughable quip, almost scholarly, inclined to be untidy in his dress, and only at home in a speakeasy. "Platinum Blonde" is a picture that conforms with this tradition, but there seems to be more attention to newspaper routine, and less drinking than usual.
The title of the picture is very misleading; the mere fact that Jean Harlow is a platinum blonde and plays the part of a society girl seems little cause for this misnomer. There is scarcely any connection between the title and the story of the reporter who leaves his faithful girl pal on the paper to marry the snobbish society heiress. The confines of the plutocracy make him unhappy, and he returns to the comparative freedom of his independence, via a pending divorce, and finds his true love in the girl he left behind.
Robert Williams was excellent as Stew Smith, the cynical and garterless reporter. He has a plentiful supply of amusing lines, and he handles these excellently. Loretta Young is capable as the girl pal sob sister, but the producers were rather unfortunate to cast her with Jean Harlow, for the contrast between the two shows all too clearly that Miss Harlow is a very poor actress and rather plain in comparison with Miss Young's almost classic beauty.
This picture, save for the miscasting of Jean Harlow, offers fair entertainment, since it contains many amusing lines and situations; but it is one of that kind makes the audience think that it would be on so much fun to go home and be whimsical and bohemian. So they are just as likely to go home, mess up the living room, drink some rotten gin, and make unbearable attempts at sprightly conversation. The next morning they regret their impulsive assininity. Such a picture is "Platinum Bloude"; it is more or less entertaining while it happens, but at the end there is the flat taste of near-success and the realization that it might have been much better in many ways.