Directed by Leo McCarey
Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.
The Awful Truth is a romantic comedy about a couple who divorce only to realize how much they truly love one another despite their trust issues.
What' is so awful about the truth? Irene Dunne (Lucy Warriner) and Cary grant (Jerry Warriner) perform the answer to this question. Jerry and Lucy cannot live with each other any longer, so they try living without each other, but realize their love exchanged forces them to further acknowledge their attraction. It is unpleasant to be a married when your partner seemingly untrustworthy. The two of them realize there is something worse, or more annoying, out there, but it is not as tolerable.
Jerry comes back from a trip to Florida and thinks his wife will find it odd that he did not tan while there. Also, he thinks she will be there waiting at home upon his return because he knows his wife and can predict her actions. Unforeseen, she is not home when he arrives with guests, and no one knows where she ran off to overnight. Lucy shows up, only moments after the conversation, with her handsome voice instructor Armand Duvalle and a suspicious sounding story, as to her whereabouts, offered up as truth. An argument over what is believable and what is not breaks out. With this, Lucy calls up the lawyer to file for a divorce.
Lucy's involvement with Armand is innocent, though Jerry does not see it that way. It makes him jealous of what goes on when he is not around. He discovers the truth for himself when he crashes Lucy's appointment with Armand. As revenge, she crashes Jerry's engagement party to his new debutante girlfriend. Lucy pretends to be his sister. She makes a scene with her imitation of the "wind" dance and embarrasses Jerry by bringing out the lies in the stories he has shared with his family-to-be.
The humor is through the cat-and-mouse game Jerry and Lucy play as well as through the hodgepodge of characters presented such asrambunctious Aunt Patsy who wants to be youthful and spunky as Lucy use to be before the divorce; suave and foreign Armand with his seemingly seductive nature; and Mr. Smith, their dog who plays a comical game of hide-and-go-seek. The ending is as expected, but has a cute touch to get them to reconcile their differences, which will not get spoiled here. In 1938, Director Leo McCarey won the Oscar for Best Director for this film. He was also nominated in 1946 for the same category for the film The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), which won the Oscar for Best Sound. Check out other films by this award winning director: Duck Soup (1933) starring the Marx brothers, Indiscreet (1931), and the aforementioned The Bells of St. Mary's (1945).