Wayne: "I apologize."
Helene: "For what?"
Wayne: "For living!"
This film is only understandable under the assumption that it was already under production before the great success of "Cimarron", and looking on the release dates this was probably the case. Obviously RKO didn´t have the notion that Irene Dunne was a new star sparkling at Hollywood´s heaven, otherwise they likely would have tried to present their newly established leading lady in a more glamorous, convenient vehicle.
Wayne Carter (Lowell Sherman in personal union as lead and director) successful, rich business man and playboy who is approaching the expiration date and anyway starting to get fed up with the flatness of both the ladies and the champagne, happens to meet Helene Andrews (Irene) showing up in his apartment looking for her younger sister Lita (Claudia Dell). We are in the depression era and both women are unemployed, desperately searching for work. Lita, a dancer, is trying to take a shortcut to money via some gold digging for men on Fifth Avenue, but Helene is determined to stay decent and stick to her profession as a stenographer.
Wayne on a hunting trip...
Wayne impressed by Helene´s honesty and straighforwardness instantly gets interested in her.
And what is the most direct way into a stenographer´s heart?
Hire her as a secretary!
Of course it isn´t as easy as that: different ladies from Wayne´s past pop up frequently, a suspicious
husband threatens to kill him and then Lita vanishes...
Oh, those blondes...
This is definitely a Lowell Sherman film, it takes about twenty minutes till Irene turns up for the first time and her role being quite one-dimensional isn´t much to start with. But obviously she quickly grasped the fact -still
only her third film - that the core of film acting is acting with facial expressions, none of her peers in this film
achieves this like she does. If "Bachelor Apartment" has any significance for Irene´s career it´s her playing
a proper part in quite a frivolous surrounding and being proper is one trademark of Irene´s on and off screen image.