(This post originally appeared in somewhat different form on December 21, 2007)
It’s hard to go wrong with Cary Grant, of course. In this one he plays a Manhattanite born and bred (no one mentions the British accent, naturally), an advertising man who decides to move his wife and two daughters out of the crowded rat race of the city. So he and the always charming Myrna Loy as his wife buy an old house in the Connecticut countryside, only to discover that they’ll be better off tearing it down and building a brand-new house. From there, just about everything that can go wrong does.
Nobody does exasperation better than Cary Grant, and that’s about all he has to do here. This is more of a smile and chuckle movie than a laugh-out-loud movie, but sometimes that sort of gentle humor is exactly what you want. Melvyn Douglas does an okay job as a friend of the family (and narrator), and Lex Barker shows up as a carpenter several years before he became Tarzan. While MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE isn’t in the top rank of Cary Grant comedies like, say, BRINGING UP BABY, I’m glad I saw it and consider it well worth watching.