‘Office Space’ meets ‘Sullivan’s Travels’ in this sparkling screwball comedy

Preston Sturges shot Christmas in July in a single month—it happened to be the month of June—and released it a few months later, in October 1940. But there’s really no wrong time to watch this top-notch screwball comedy, which has just been reissued on DVD.

The movie—Sturges’s second as writer-director—begins with an office joke gone awry. But it’s also a love story, and a chance to watch great actors—Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, and William Demarest among them—tear into some of the greatest, and funniest, dialogue ever written. The Coen brothers’ latter-day farce The Hudsucker Proxy was largely an homage to Christmas in July’s take on office life and the world of advertising. But much as we loved the Coens’ tribute, we have to admit that the original is brighter, faster, and even more appealing.

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