March 19th, 2020

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'But Is It Love?' update: The script exists!

When Carole Lombard stopped at Salt Lake City's train station on Jan. 13, 1942, she was probably focused on the upcoming war bond rally in Indianapolis. But in the back of her mind, she may have occasionally thought about her career, and the script she planned to film after her next picture, "He Kissed The Bride" (made posthumously as "They All Kissed The Bride," with Joan Crawford replacing Lombard).

That project, "But Is It Love?", was unknown to me until a few days ago, when Lombard maven Brian Lee Anderson, who's putting together a book on the last few months of her life, discovered information about it in the Jan. 8 Los Angeles Times ( Now, Anderson reports he has tracked down the script -- a romantic comedy by Helen Deutsch that Lucille Ball unsuccessfully sought to make later in the '40s.

Even better, Anderson plans to learn more about it. "I will soon be going on a little field trip to read the script," he wrote on Facebook, although he'll have to wait until the coronavirus pandemic subsides. "It's exciting thinking about it," he added.

As a screenwriter, I envy Brian for this, especially since I wonder whether a script Lombard planned to make before fate intervened could be adapted into a rom-com today, nearly 80 years later...and not necessarily as a period piece. (And yes, that's an endeavor I'd like to tackle.) I'm certain if it was adaptable, more than a few A-list actresses would love to step into Carole's shoes, figuratively large as they may be.

Anderson says he knows a bit about the plot: "It is about a woman who is in love with 'love,' but what happens when she really finds love?"

On the surface, that sounds a bit like Rebel Wilson's 2019 comedy "Isn't It Romantic," although that was a sendup of current rom-com cliches and I'm certain this script wouldn't veer in that direction.

We eagerly await learning more about this.
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