Love 'Em and Weep was remade by Laurel and Hardy in 1931 as Chickens Come Home, where it played much better. (For the later film, Hardy played the businessman and Fin played the Butler, whereas in this film, Fin is the businessman, Charlie Hall is the Butler and Hardy is a guest at the party.) This first film is notable, however, as it features the first appearances of the three actors who, throughout the years, were to become Laurel and Hardy's best-known co-stars: Finlayson, Busch and Hall.
A good comedy with a great cast (Laurel, Fin, Mae Busch, Charlie Hall,
Vivien Oakland and... who's that other guy... oh yeah, Hardy), but it's
a film that just barely deserves to be included in any list of Laurel
and Hardy films. Not only is Hardy given nothing to do, he is also
disguised behind glasses and a thick mustache. Yet, when they remade
this one a few years later as Chickens Come Home, it turned out to be
one of Hardy's best showcase vehicles. Though the latter film is a
close remake of Love 'Em and Weep, it is based more on the characters
Laurel and Hardy had developed by then, with the added bonus of Fin
being a Hardy underling and still getting the upper hand.
That's not to say Love 'Em and Weep isn't enjoyable. It is, immensely so, containing gags and situations that were good enough to be repeated wholesale into Chickens Come Home. But a comparison of both films shows the difference between an above-average Hal Roach comedy and an above-average Laurel and Hardy comedy. And that difference is the added layers and dimensions of comedy that Laurel and Hardy's characters brought to any situation.
Copyright © 2013 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan