Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House Reviews
What sets this movie apart from other movies involved with building (the ludicrous Money Pit, the dreadful Towering Inferno) is the incredible accuracy of the construction references. It's refreshing to watch such an entertaining flick without having to roll your eyes at ridiculous plot set-ups.
Turns out that place is Connecticut where Blandings buys 50 acres of land that isn't quite 50 acres and with a house that's falling down. Forced to tear down and start over from scratch, the headaches (and the price tag) escalate over "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" ninety-minute (or so) run. Adding to Blandings' headaches is the advertising account dropped into his lap that has led to the several colleagues exit from the firm.
Cary Grant and Myrna Loy have great chemistry in this fun little comedy that is an underappreciated gem. Watching the two banter back and forth over what is and is not essential to their dream home (each child gets a bedroom with its own bathroom and two closets) is delightful and there are some funny set pieces. Blandings' growing frustration as everything skyrockets out of control is nicely done.
The only misstep in the film is a subplot where Blandings wonders if his wife and best friend might be having an affair. While the best friend (and Blandings' lawyer) serves as a narrator for the story and attempts to offer a voice of reason for much of Blandings' insanity and impulsive moves, the subplot distracts rather than adds anything to the film.
Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Melvyn Douglas are all great actors, but even they can't save this film from banal mediocrity. The central conflict is Jim Blandings's pursuit of an American Dream on steroids and a entitled sense of opulence, but this conflict isn't really resolved because Blandings never tones down his ambitions or does anything to earn his privileged opinion of himself. The plotline about Muriel's potential affair with Bill doesn't have any legs either because, like Jim should, we trust her implicitly. Some of the supporting characters are -- "Yep" -- mildly amusing, but even a chuckle didn't escape me.
Overall, just like its more modern imitator, The Money Pit, this film is pointlessly unfunny.