I've noticed that film studies people tend to venerate the Marx Brothers in an almost religious way. Antonin Artaud famously called them revolutionary (speaking of Monkey Business actually), and said it was unfortunate that Americans didn't understand their own culture and realize that the Marx Brothers were the world's greatest force for destroying class structures. When I pointed out to one of my old teachers that the Marx Brothers mixed two genres he said couldn't be mixed (in "Go West,") he simply said "well the Marx Brothers can do anything."

And that they can. This film is, if not the best, among the best Marx Brothers films to be made, which essentially makes it one of the best comic films to be made. Like all surrealist comedy all sense of order in the world seems to constantly break down when these fellows are involved, which is the perfect scenario for one to fall in love, and Groucho complies.

I long have said that I stole all of my flirting tactics from silent movies (mostly Clara Bow and Charlie Chaplin movies). I've discovered recently that many of my relationship behaviors are taken from Groucho Marx. I cannot dance worth a damn, but I enjoy, with my girlfriend, half dancing and half throwing her around. I like to try to talk her slightly dizzy.

I think that's what's so great about this film, it puts the real world in interaction with the ideal world, the world where love is melodramatic, people run circles around each other, and everything is more ridiculous than it is coherent. And of course the heroes always save the day, because in the end they can wrap the villains up in their little world, where a gun is a joke, and a crime that is well planned out is not nearly as good as one that no one can make sense of.

Buy Monkey Business

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