“Make up your mind, old man: you’re not allowed to have two wives, you know!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
it unfortunately “never rises from amusing to hilarious”; instead, the “marital game-playing becomes far-fetched and tedious, and too much of the humor comes at the expense of characters who are being treated rotten”. Indeed, poor “Patrick, in particular, gets unfair treatment”, mostly due to the underdeveloped arc of her character; she’s never really given much of a chance for sympathy, and is dismissed far too easily as merely a nuisance to be gotten rid of.
Making much more of a splash (literally!):
is “muscular, virile” Randolph Scott as Dunne’s shipwrecked compatriot, who insists that things remained strictly platonic between them during their entire seven years on an island together.
Uh-huh. This is just as quaint as Dunne believing that if she makes it to the hotel before newlyweds Grant and Patrick arrive, she can safely salvage the “situation”. And speaking of “situations”, it is interesting, as Peary notes, that “while Dunne forgives Grant for romancing and marrying Patrick, he has trouble coming to terms with her being stranded for seven years with… Scott”. At any rate, it’s primarily “the charm of the stars” that “carries the picture to its… conclusion” — with the final “bedroom scene” coming across as a weak attempt to replicate the hilarious sexiness of The Awful Truth‘s comparable ending.
Note: Somewhat notoriously, My Favorite Wife was in the process of being remade with Marilyn Monroe as Something’s Got to Give in 1962, but was never completed; instead, it was officially remade with Doris Day and James Garner in 1963 as Move Over, Darling (a title not listed in Peary’s book).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: