Once again Hollywood has dived into the beehive maze of wartime Washington and come up with a topnotch comedy vehicle. There have been several pictures which used the same background, some of which were very, very good and some of which were horrid. "Standing Room Only" definitely rates with the former class.
Featuring the comedy team of Paulette Goddard and Fred MacMurray, the picture runs through a plentiful series of comic farce scenes without a hitch. They are aided by Roland Young, in the part of a henpecked husband who "wants to be bad," but doesn't know how to go about it.
The plot centers around an original angle in the Washington turmoil and chaos theme, the servant situation, and an old one, the rooming situation, with the red tape of bureaucracy is thrown in for good measure. Pretty Paulette Goddard, as a neophyte secretary who prefers memorization to shorthand, cancels her boss's (Fred MacMurray) reservations in a crowded Washington hotel because she doesn't like the rooms and then the fun starts.
Thrown upon the streets of Washington, they search desperately for a base of operations from which MacMurray can sally forth to negotiate for an important government priority. The only way they can get lodgings is by masquerading as a butler and cook. They settle in the house of Roland Young and his WAC-officer wife and proceed to turn it into a veritable castle of bedlam. The subsequent scenes are exceedingly funny and, combined with a fast start, label this as a picture to be seen if possible.