I just watched Princess O'Rourke last night and after making it through an early scene that really tried me--I get it, she takes a bunch of sleeping pills, but wow, the delivery of the pills from what began to feel like every player on the Warner's lot got a little tedious--I wound up enjoying this one tremendously.
Starring Olivia De Havilland as the Princess, the presence of Charles Coburn as her Uncle and Robert Cummings as the love interest really had me expecting Jean Arthur to pop up as that combo never let The Devil and Miss Jones (1941) run too far from my mind.
Coburn has hopes that De Havilland will marry one of the few eligible royal bachelors on the market. Unfortunately the only one even near her in age has a ridiculous facial tick and is a total bore so De Havilland's Princess has more or less resigned herself to growing into an old maid.
The sleeping pill incident leaves her woozy in the arms of pilot Cummings after the flight is turned around. Waking up in Cummings' PJs the next morning De Havilland's curiosity gets the best of her and she meets up with him later in the day for what she insists be a very normal date.
Not wanting him to do anything out of the ordinary for her, they spend their time with Cummings' co-pilot, played by Jack Carson, and Carson's wife, Jane Wyman.
Cummings is led to believe by De Havilland that she's a formerly wealthy refugee who'll soon be forced to take a job as a maid. Poor De Havilland earns further pity from Cummings when she has to publicly admit to having no skills whatsoever when she tries to help out at a meeting of the Women's Defense Corps in Wyman's building.
Princess O'Rourke improves as it goes with the reveal to Cummings of De Havilland's actual background coming much sooner than expected.
Carson and Wyman are great in their supporting roles with one of the film's only later weaknesses coming at their departure, never to be seen by viewers again. We also probably could have seen Coburn once more too.
The main five players in Princess O'Rourke are outstanding with just a few awkward moments for De Havilland when she tries to lay the comedy on a little too thick (I felt bad for her when she tried imitating that facial tick I mentioned earlier). The romance that develops between her and Cummings is entirely believable, even if the resolution, involving the White House and a stand-in for one of FDR's Scotties, is a bit over-the-top.
Ray Walker and Minor Watson are good in their smaller roles and a Harry Davenport appearance always adds a little something, even if only for a few moments like in Princess O'Rourke.
In summary, excellent war-time slightly screwy romantic comedy.