Here's an idea for a remake that'd be a great Valentine's Day release some year in the future. And though it was likely a success back in 1940, it's not so well known today that a redo would upset many people. In fact, there are probably some fans of the film, like myself, who would welcome an updated version so long as it's not anywhere as bad as, say, Mr. Deeds. Featuring a great premise and room for lots of broad comedy, I recommend Hollywood to remake...

I Love You Again

The original film, directed by W.S. Van Dyke, reunites his Thin Man stars William Powell and Myrna Loy for their ninth (of 14) pairing together. Powell plays a con man who, at the start, awakens from a nine-year bout of amnesia. He finds that in all that time he's become another person, grown rich, been married and has been known as something of a frugal weenie who doesn't drink or take risks, romantically or otherwise. Now he's back to conceiving scams, spending like he has it and indulging in alcohol, all changes that his wife (Loy) takes note of. And suddenly she's not sure she wants that divorce she's been planning.
Now that I'm writing the plot down, I realize the doppelganger-centered political comedy Dave shares some similarities to I Love You Again, but not enough that it removes the possibility of a straight remake. Amnesia stories are always hot in Hollywood, and the concept of having a film begin with the waking up from a lengthy forgetfulness is as fresh now as it was 70 years ago.

I'd like a remake to retain the con man element, though it's like a studio would want bigger and more action-oriented. So I wouldn't be surprised if Powell's role was changed into a former spy who suddenly snapped out of amnesia to find out he's been living a very tame lifestyle. Would that be too much like the initial impression given in A History of Violence?

Done my way, what modern actor could fill the shoes of Powell? He'd have to be able to be believable as both a crook and a boy scout (literally). Leonardo DiCaprio? Ryan Gosling? Bradley Cooper? Steve Buscemi would be perfect provided he could be accepted as a leading man in a romance (unfortunately, he couldn't be). As for Loy's part, I thought first of Rachel McAdams, who has before shown the necessary balance of reserve and vulnerability that makes her perfect for any remake of a screwball comedy.

If you want to check out the original I Love You Again (maybe on Sunday?), it's available on YouTube, though divided up into 11 parts. Watch the first below:

categories Cinematical