Monday, January 28, 2013

My Favorite Wife (1940)



“I came here with my wife... hum... my bride really. Now my wife, not my bride... my wife... Why should I bore you with details?” 

            There is no way on earth I believe Cary Grant could ever have bored someone with any details of a story he wanted to tell. The details are definitely not boring in his 1940 comedy My Favorite with three time costar Irene Dunne.
            Nick Arden (Grant) has just gotten remarried to Bianca (Gail Patrick). His first wife Ellen is believed dead in a shipwreck. Ellen luckily survived on an island for all those years and just so happens to return the day Nick has gotten married. Ellen returns to the home she shared with Nick before she left. Her two children with Nick do not recognize her so she does not tell them who she is. Through Nick’s mother Ellen finds out that he has gone to the same place for his honeymoon with Bianca as they did. Ellen decides to surprise him and shows up on the hotel.
            Nick cannot believe what he has seen as he and Bianca are in the elevator heading up to their room. Once in the room Nick becomes a nervous wreck. He tries with all his might to make an excuse to go down to the lobby but everything he says backfires until he just leaves. When he sees Ellen they hug and kiss. Nick gets her the sweet they shared on their honeymoon. The hotel clerk is not happy with that he sees because he believes that Nick is cheating with his new wife or whatever wife he has.
            Ellen returns to the house. She has not told her children she is their mother even after taking them out for the day and spending time with them around the house. When Nick and Bianca come home Ellen pretends to be an old family friend from the south. Of Bianca does not like Ellen and with good reason because Nick keeps sneaking off to see her.
            Just as Nick is about to tell Bianca that Ellen has returned he finds out that Ellen was not alone on the island for all those years. She was shipwrecked with a man named Burkett (Randolph Scott) and they called each other Adam and Eve. Nick tracks Burkett down and sees that Burkett is a tall, muscular, handsome man. To make matters worse when Burkett and Ellen get together he plans on marrying her. Now Nick has no idea what to do all the while Ellen only want to be with him.
            As you can guess Nick and Ellen get back together and do so in the craziest way.
            There are not enough words to describe how perfect Irene Dunne and Cary Grant were together. I love Cary Grant in his comedies way more than his dramas. He is so charming and I think much more handsome in his comedies. Irene Dunne was just a fantastic actress she could do anything. There was such a great balance between them in their comedies because Grant could be really silly and Dunne would be such a lady then it could go the other way around at some moments. Grant and Dunne looked fantastic together and they had such fantastic chemistry… then again either one of them were such great actors they could have chemistry with stick. Both of them made acting look so easy and I think that is another reason they were perfect on screen as a couple. Besides William Powell and Myrna Loy, Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are my favorite screen and comedic couple.

            Gail Patrick played Bianca and I had to say felt so bad for her character. Bianca had no idea what was going. She was not playing her usual slinky, man eating character she was just a woman who unfortunately got thrown into a complicated situation.
            Randolph Scott was gorgeous. Most of his scenes had him in a bathing suit and he looked amazing! Haha. Scott was a good actor as well. His character was so sweet and so nice he fit the part. Scott played such a nice guy that I would not have minded at all if Irene Dunne wound up with him in the end instead of Cary Grant. 
            My Favorite Wife is one of my favorite comedies. I watched the film for the first time in many years since I had originally seen it and I did not remember it being so enjoyable. It is funny and most importantly the situation never gets to be too much and go overboard. There are so many aspects and moments that make this film funny but it would not be fair to give away anything for the readers who have not yet seen it. My Favorite Wife is one those perfect films where every character and every actor just work and they make a crazy comedy that could have gone all over the place so much fun to watch.