Dowdy spinster daughter Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) keeps to herself. Her mother rules over her and keeps her chubby and unattractive. All her siblings are older, but her sister-in-law wants to help. She brings a nice doctor in to interview her. He finds her charming and creative and invites her to his clinic to "treat" her. Really he just wants to teach her how to be an independent person with hopes and dreams of her own.
She's set to leave the sanitarium when her sister-in-law has the idea, with the doctors approval, of sending the now beautiful young lady on a sea voyage. While on the boat she meets a nice older man and they become very close. Unfortunately, he's married, so they part and she goes back to her mother.
Because Charlotte has changed, she reacts to her mother as an adult and acts as she wishes. She's charming and poised and has learned to make friends easily. Her mother threatens to cut her off, but she just smiles and tells her she will just have to find work.
I've never been so charmed by Davis before. She's usually so tough and strong in the characters she plays. She positively blossomed on screen. The plot goes on, but I wont spoil it for you. I liked how it went directions I didn't expect. Well worth the viewing.
Look for nice performances by Paul Henreid, Claude Rains and Gladys Cooper. North Bend Library has the only copy of this DVD.