The fact that this attempt at whimsy doesn’t always come off is incidental; just look at the names! The pic opens with a pair of surefire names like Goddard and Meredith and in bed, too.
Then Stewart, Fonda, and Harry James. Plus Lamour and Victor Moore, in a Hollywood satire, or how the sarong became famous. Followed by Fred MacMurray and William Demarest. All in episodic sequences detailing what an inquiring reporter encounters when he seeks to have answered the question of how a child influenced the lives of a group of selected adults.
Meredith is the reporter, so-called. Actually he’s only a classified-ad solicitor for a newspaper. But he’s lied to his recent bride; he’s told her he’s the inquiring reporter. Through a subterfuge, however, he assumes themantle of the paper’s actual I.R., a longtime ambition, for just this one question.
The cast couldn’t have been better. The story’s execution falters because a scene here and there is inclined to strive too much for its whimsical effect. But Meredith responds capitally to the mood of the character he plays, being given more of a chance to do so than any of the other stars.
[Originally reviewed at a New York sneak preview under the title A Miracle Can Happen.]