Metro’s special knack for turning out big, splashy musicals on a lavish scale that so dazzle the eye that the story becomes negligible is exemplified in Easy to Love, produced by the maestro of musical spectacle, Joe Pasternak. The Cypress Gardens, Florida, backgounds, first exploited by Cinerama, contribute some highly scenic footage. Too bad that the story had to be so lightweight, but then, with all the swimming, water skiing, singing and plush mountains maybe there just wasn’t room for plot.
Esther Williams, shapely and vivacious as the much sought-after aquatic star whose only aim in life is to ‘hook’ Van Johnson, delivers her usual cheerful performance. Van Johnson is easy-going gent who manages a good comedy line when handed one. Tony Martin does a sock stint and delivers a brace of songs in topnotch fashion. His vocalizing seems quite natural even in situations where musical outbursts would ordinarily be surprising. Call it Metro technique.
Musical numbers, created and directed by Busby Berkeley, move easily and look attractive. There are plenty of lively tunes to help brighten the proceedings. Among them are the ever-lovely Cole Porter song, ‘Easy to Love,’ ‘Didja Ever,’ ‘Look Out, I’m Romantic,’ ‘That’s what a Rainy Day is For,’ and ‘Coquette.’
Story has a couple of good laughs in it. Williams loves Van Johnson, who runs Cypress Gardens where she is the star of the show, but his mind is strictly on business. John Bromfield, a performer, has been Esther’s steady date, when Van takes her to New York. There she meets Martin, who falls in love with her.