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Claudette Colbert steps outside her usual sphere to take the part of the mother in Fanny Hurst's "Imitation of Life," which fortunately quite exceeds the intricacies of real living. Admirers of la belle Claudette will find her somewhat lacking in a display of those things for which they formerly admired her but they will see an interesting study of a stolen film. Only a small part of the interest in the involved plot is centered on the leading lady while all the minor characters except Jessie, the daughter, take every scene in which they appear. Only when the world's oldest story is repeated does Miss Colbert do better than her support.
The plot is divided into no less than four main tracks which scarcely overlap but the leads of each are sufficiently amusing. The honors of the film go to Ned Sparks who suggests that the story of Aunt Jemima be told using the name of Aunt Delilah as the pegro cook who first had the recipe for the best tasting pancake batter in the world and to Warren Williams as the ichthyologist who falls in love with Colbert but cannot marry her because the daughter has fallen in love with him and the marriage would separate the mother and daughter which would be terrible judging by the experience of Aunt Delilah whose nearly white daughter has disowned her because she is colored thereby causing her mother's death with an inexcusably Hollywood funeral, and somehow all this furnishes a reason why Claudette won't sell her business although it will make her rich. And so the complications go on and on leaving a disjointed piece with amusing catchlines.
The accompanying feature. "I Sell Anything," is good in proportion to your love for Pat O'Brien.
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