12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A COMEDIC GEM...,
This review is from: Move Over Darling [VHS]  (VHS Tape)
This is a successful re-make of "My Favorite Wife", which starred Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. This is one of the few times where the re-make is better than the original. While the Grant/Dunne version is good, this one, to my complete surprise, is better and far funnier.
Directed by Terry Melcher, Doris Day's then husband, the film has a deft, light touch. It plays well as the light-hearted, romantic comedy that it is. Doris Day is delightful as the long lost wife and mother, believed to have been lost at sea, who is rescued from a desert island five years later and returns to her husband and family. Upon her return, she discovers that just that very morning her husband (James Garner) has had her declared legally dead and married another woman (Polly Bergen).
The film focuses on the first wife's efforts to get her husband to tell his second wife that the first wife has returned. When the husband discovers, however, that his first wife spent those five years on the island with another man, Steve (Chuck Connors), and that they called each other Adam and Eve, jealousy rears its ugly head. Doris Day tries to defuse this by introducing a Casper Milquetoast type of guy (Don Knotts) as the Adam from the island, not knowing that her husband has already seen Steve and discovered him to be a hunk (Chuck Connors). There are a series of very funny scenes involving all of the parties in different combinations. Doris Day's mother-in-law (Thelma Ritter), however, brings the nonsense to a head and its eventual, satisfactory conclusion.
Doris Day is terrific as the long lost wife. Her perky, light comedic touch is perfect, and when she plays the part of a Swedish masseuse, she will have you laughing uproariously. James Garner is funny as the husband who must make a definitive choice. Thelma Ritter is perfect as the practical, no nonsense mother-in-law who ensures that all is well that ends well. Polly Bergen is perfectly cast as the slightly neurotic second wife. Don Knotts is hysterical as the substitute Steve. Moreover, those familiar with the original film will enjoy its inclusion in this film in the form of a sly allusion. All in all, this is a fine romantic comedy.