It only took six months, but I finally got around unveiling my giant Cary Grant DVD boxset and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House got the honor to be the first one I sat down with and watched. And it certainly is a delightful little comedy thanks to a very simple but appealing concept coupled with clever dialog and timeless humor and the last but not least, performed by a superb lead cast. It’s pretty darn good for what it is, and it’s no wonder the movie has had such longevity, so much so in fact that it has even inspired couple of remakes in the past 69 years of its existence. I actually mused about how it felt very similar to the Money Pit by Tom Hanks while watching, and what do you know, after some googling, the Money Pit actually turns out to be a remake of Mr Blandings. Apparently Ice Cube has also done a remake as well, which is quite a mind boggling idea to get your head around.
Cary Grant is, well, Cary Grant. Excellent as always, charming as ever and his tantrums are again simply great fun to witness. Myrna Loy was already a familiar face to me from the Thin Man series, and to be honest, while I like those movies I actually found her to be more charming in this. While her chemistry with Willam Powell is great, I felt like she worked maybe a tiny bit better when going against Cary Grant. It also helps that she feels to have more to do here than just being a tag-along sidekick to her detective husband, even if she still was a the side character in the role of a devoted wife. The house building itself was a bit of a letdown, I was honestly expecting it to be more of a farce than what we actually got (like in the Money Pit) but overall it had more than enough comedy to keep the movie going at a satisfactory pace and delivered well placed, simple laughs. Now that I think of it, the planning stage perhaps seemed slightly better in compared to the actual building because it had that great scene of Loy and Grant getting really into altering the blueprints for the house by drawing extra rooms here, an additional bathrooms there, ultimately coming up with plans where the upstairs was to be twice the size of the downstairs, making the house virtually impossible to build, much to the frustration of their architect.
I don’t really know if the ham ad campaign was that great of a subplot to end the movie with, it wasn’t particularly interesting or funny, but I suppose it did lend some necessary drama to the ending when Grant finally figures out the answer to his conundrum and doesn’t lose his job after all, giving the viewer the classic Hollywood ending they were yearning for.