3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)I know they run only nonfiction shows, but HGTV should rerun "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" regularly, just as a warning to starry-eyed homeowners. Cary Grant and Myrna Loy are absolutely hilarious in this homebuyer's comedy, but the real star is their dream house.... and the hideous flaws with it.
The Blandings family live in a New York apartment, where they fight daily for closet and bathroom space. But then Jim Blandings (Cary Grant) gets a brilliant idea -- buy a charming house in the country, fix it up, and live in rural charm. Unfortunately, he quickly gets tangled up in a heap of mortgage problems, and gets cheated by the former owner.
And once those are sorted out, they get professional opinions ("Tear it down!") which lead to major demolition. Undaunted, Jim and Muriel (Myrna Loy) help design a brilliant new house, only to encounter a new array of setbacks. As Jim tries to deal with the strain, he suspects that his marriage is coming apart.
Personally I consider having a new house built to be from the fifth circle of hell, especially if you have to oversee the details yourself. Apparently HC Potter did too, since the movie is crammed with subtle jabs at demanding homebuyers, trendy decorators, and those guys who send the windowpanes to the wrong town.
The movie basically trundles along the increasingly bumpy road of buying land and building a house, although it becomes somewhat slack when Jim suspects that Muriel is cheating on him. Fortunately the dialogue is hilarious from beginning to end ("The house just needs someone to love it, that's all!" "Good thing there are two of you. One to love it and one to hold it up").
Mr. Blandings reminds me of some homebuyers I'm related to -- he has more optimism than any person can have, unless he is completely out of touch with reality. And Cary Grant makes you laugh WITH and AT Jim. Loy is solid and witty as the long-suffering wife, and Melvyn Douglas does his dry best as their best buddy.
The moral of this movie: Pursuing your dream house will probably be a nonstop nightmare, even if you look like Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. So beware.