Starring: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Melvyn Douglas
Director: H.C. Potter
Running Time: 94 mins
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is an American film about a New York family man, frustrated with his life inside a cramped apartment in downtown Manhattan, who decides to go out and buy a large house in Connecticut. However, when he realises the house isn’t in good condition, he and his wife set out to rebuild it as their dream house.
It may not be the most original, nor the most hilarious comedy you’ve ever seen, but Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is a textbook example of why traditional Hollywood comedies work so well. Thanks to strong performances and a hugely light-hearted atmosphere, it’s impossible not to enjoy this, even if it’s nothing you haven’t seen before.
Let’s start with the story. Basically, it’s an older and more entertaining version of the god-awful Tom Hanks rom-com ‘The Money Pit‘, where a man and his wife randomly decide to fix up an old place, and have everything possible go wrong for them in the most ridiculous ways possible.
However, the reason that this isn’t as horrifyingly bad as The Money Pit is because it treats its story with very little seriousness. It’s a massively light-hearted romp that’s more about seeing Cary Grant get flustered by his annoying friends and wife no matter what he does than actually about the people and the ins and outs of building a house (which, if you’ve seen The Money Pit, you’ll know is tedious).
The film sticks firmly to the classic screwball formula of the 1940s, and in that, it doesn’t deserve too much credit for originality, and it also doesn’t provide the biggest laughs, so it’s definitely not the best of the genre. However, if you want a really easy-going movie that’s got two big Classic Hollywood stars having a laugh in the middle of it, then this is for you, because it’s so simple, full of positive humour throughout, and doesn’t ever let its family drama get above that, so that’s why it gets a 7.2 from me.