Tag Archives: Irene Dunne

My Favorite Wife

1940

directed by: Garson Kanin

Cary Grant movie 37 of 74.  It also marks the second time (I think) Irene Dunne and Grant have teamed up after the excellent The Awful Truth (1937). I’ll review that a bit later.

Grant plays a lawyer whose wife (Dunne) has been lost at sea for seven years.  Seven YEARS! I’m gonna go ahead and check how long they said Tom Hanks and Wilson were stranded on that island. 4 years… maybe 5 tops.  So yeah, if it’s believable she’s been gone that long… then fine.  And she shows back up at their enormous house still in great shape (probably from all the island sex with Steve, more on that later).  Anyways, Grant has , THAT MORNING, went to court to not only declare his wife legally dead, but also to marry Bianca (Gail Patrick).  Kudos to the writers and Dunne for making a jab at the name Bianca in the movie.  So Grant and his new bride go up to the mountains to the same hotel that he honeymooned with Dunne (The man is a glutton for pain apparently).  Meanwhile, Grant finds out that she wasn’t stranded alone, and this hunk of a guy (who kept in immensely great shape after 7 years eating coconuts, fish, and wild boar) was with her too.  But nothing happened. Right. Dunne follows Grant to the hotel and then hijinks ensue and Grant ultimately picks Dunne to be his one truthful wife after Bianca divorces (annuls?) him.  While definitely not rhythmically as sound as The Awful Truth, Dunne and Grant, especially Dunne, shine again.  She looks great for 41, like really great, better than Gail Patrick at 28.  And her ability to turn on a dime comedically, changing emotion, emphasis, sarcasm, and candor as the mood suits her is a blast to keep up with. But I’m sure I’ll gush more for The Awful Truth as they recycled some of the gags from that.  The end kind of dragged when both the audience and Dunne is waiting for Grant to come around, and just when it seems like he has, he clams up and the movie goes on.  Still not a bad film, and a must see for Dunne fans.

Underrated actors: Donald MacBride as the hotel clerk/manager, gets super pissed at Grant for having 2 suites for both his wives.

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