Today, this winner of the Best Picture Oscar is rather forgotten but in 1938, it was popular enough with the Academy to not only win the top prize but also a third Director win for Frank Capra. The movie tells about the eccentric and unusual Sycamore family and their complete opposite, the snobbish and wealthy Kirbys. When Alice and Tony, two young members of these different families, fall in love, things start to get complicated.
You Can’t Take it With You is another one of those typical Capra-comedies. There is a little craziness, a little humor, a little love, a little pathos, a little class differences, a little social messages and the realization that you don’t need money or power to lead a happy, fulfilled life.
Like every Frank Capra movie, You Can’t Take it With You is a little too overdone in its message and a little too forced in its attempt to mix social themes with entertainment and the whole solution of the story seems to take a too easy way out. But it was the talent of Frank Capra to always make this work – he has the ability to create movies that could easily be criticized but somehow are simply too pleasing, inspiring, heartwarming but also thought-provoking. His movies always present a combination of themes that shouldn’t work but somehow end up working just right. You Can’t Take it With You is certainly not Capra’s best picture and certainly not his best comedy but it’s refreshing, entertaining and memorable.