Dream Wife (1953)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
  • AllMovie Rating
    3
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Review by Craig Butler

Dream Wife is hardly a dream movie. Indeed, it can be argued that any romance-based comedy in which Cary Grant gives a poor performance has something seriously wrong with it. Grant certainly had been in this type of film before (and would be again), but most other times he had the benefit of a sturdy script and good direction. Both are woefully lacking in Wife, which has a premise that was growing tired in 1953 and is positively wearying today. The bickering between Grant and co-star Deborah Kerr is irritating, and Grant's character in particular comes off as spoiled and obnoxious -- even with Grant's natural charm. The dialogue is weak when it's not inane, and very few of the set-ups have any pay off. As director, Sidney Sheldon is hopelessly at sea, unsure of what tone to set, how to handle his actors and at times even where the proper focus of a scene should be. Without a seasoned hand at the helm, Grant overplays in a way that is quite unusual for this normally excellent farceur. Kerr does somewhat better (Although she's far from her best), and there is a certain chemistry between them -- but it keeps getting shoved aside for their senseless quarrel. Walter Pidgeon has some good moments, and there are a few scattered laughs here and there. Helen Rose's costumes are quite marvelous (although they cry out for color), and there's some nice lensing. But for the most part, Dream Wife has little to recommend it.