One of the best of Cecil B. DeMille's sophisticated sex comedies of the silent era, Why Change Your Wife? hinges upon a marriage of opposites. Husband Thomas Meighan has a fondness for wine, women and song; wife Gloria Swanson is the intellectual bookish type (we know this much because she wears thick glasses). When jazz baby Bebe Daniels enters Meighan's life, the indignant Swanson files for divorce. Realizing that she's permitted herself to become dull and drab, the newly liberated Gloria "dolls up" with a glamorous new wardrobe. Meanwhile, Meighan has become disillusioned with new bride Bebe, who is all pizazz but no substance. At a fashionable summer resort, Meighan and Swanson are reunited. When Tom and Gloria fall in love all over again, Bebe is temporarily put out, but she consoles herself with the old battle cry "Remember the Alimony!" Despite the film's farcical trappings, Why Change Your Wife? has more depth than the usual DeMille froth, thanks to the three-dimensional performances of its star trio.
by Hal Erickson synopsis