This was the perfect antidote to follow up Storytelling. Had I watched something even half as dark or depressing as that immediately after finishing it, I probably would have been inconsolable for a week. I needed something happy and funny (in the classical sense of the word) that I could just shut off my higher brain functions and enjoy some classic screwball comedy. Thankfully, that is what I received in the form of the 1940 Cary Grant classic, My Favorite Wife. And while I would definitely say this wasn’t a great film, I still enjoyed it and I caught myself enjoying a hearty chuckle throughout practically the whole film. I’ve stated this once before on this blog but it deserves re-iteration. Most dramas (noir and other mystery types excluded) prior to the 1960’s are borderline unwatchable for me because they’re so terribly dated and uninteresting (certain exceptions exist). However, this blog has really taught me that funny is timeless and this another example of that.

My Favorite Wife has a fairly simple but, in practice, hilarious premise. Nick (Cary Grant) believes that his wife, Ellen (Irene Dune) died seven years ago in a ship wreck. The film begins with Nick having a judge render Ellen legally dead so that he can now marry his new wife, Bianca. However, on that very day, Ellen returns from her long absence having been rescued by a Portuguese freighter. However, she’s too late to stop the wedding and Nick only discovers that he’s alive when he sees her from the elevator at the hotel where he and Bianca will be having their honeymoon. Hijinks ensue as Nick must find a way (and the courage) to inform Bianca that Ellen is still alive while also battling the fact that there was a male survivor on the same island that Ellen was stranded on.

Cary Grant and Irene Dunne had fantastic romantic as well as comedic chemistry together. Cary Grant is one of Hollywood’s most legendary leading men and while I’m not as familiar with Irene Dunne’s work, in this film, she definitely displayed the fiery wit and comedic timing to go up against one of the real icons of Hollywood. She actually bore an incredibly uncanny resemblance to a girl I went on a couple of dates with back in the beginning of March. It was sort of freaky. Of course thinking too much about that will get me depressed so on to other aspects of the film. Grant had a very dry sense of humor. So dry in fact that he might not have actually been trying to be funny, but he’s just sort of so awesome that I just filled in the blanks. Irene Dunne was the most impressive comedic talent in the cast and might be one of the funniest classic female comedic roles I can remember watching in a while.

If you like old, classic romantic comedies, this is one of those easy sells. It’s the kind of movie that you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy without having to garner higher meanings or generally think too much. Now, that precludes the film from greatness (which I think saying that makes me an elitist asshole but que sera sera I guess) but that doesn’t preclude it from being enjoyable. I could easily find myself watching this again someday if I ever need a nice peaceful relaxing comedy to veg out to. Apparently, Irene Dunne and Cary grant made other films together which I could definitely see myself enjoying and watching. I always confuse Cary Grant and Gary Cooper in my head. Not sure why. Maybe it’s that they have the same initials backwards and my weird filing system in my head just confuses it all. Hopefully, this will help me keep a better track of which is which. I hope.

Final Score: B

Advertisements