Too Many Dull Moments
"Never a Dull Moment" must be one of the most ironic titles I have ever come across because sadly this movie is little more than dull moments. Maybe it's not that bad but when you have a comedy starring Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray plus the whiney voice of Andy Devine you expect more, you expect chemistry, cuteness and laughs. Sadly the writing does them all a disservice because most of the comedy in "Never a Dull Moment" is obvious and just general fish out of water slap stick with not a single clever gag to be seen.
Successful singer and songwriter Kay Kingsley (Irene Dunne - My Favorite Wife) meets rodeo rider Chris Heyward (Fred MacMurray - Flight for Freedom) at a benefit rodeo in the city. After a short romance and quick marriage Kay leaves the city for life on Chris's little ranch and as mother to his two daughters but immediately finds herself a fish out of water. From feud's with neighbours to early starts and cooking Kay struggles but slowly gets to grip with things, that is until an incident puts the ranch at risk and leads Kay to wonder whether she should leave and go back to the city.
I think the biggest problem with "Never a Dull Moment" is that there is not a single moment of originality in the entire movie and so it becomes a procession through obvious gags and narrative. What that means is that most of the movie focuses upon Kay finding ranch life a struggle but slowly gets use to it, which means burnt food, unable to ride and various other simple gags which lack any imagination. And how the storyline plays out with an incident leading Kay and Chris to argue and Kay consider city life again is no real shock.
Now I may have been a bit unfair when I said there was no originality because we have the speedy set up as Kay meets Chris. What we get are a trio of scenes which sees Chris call on Kay for a date, return for another and then their wedding. But what makes it original is that what we see is basically their lower legs and that is it, which in fairness I had never seen before but it certainly doesn't make it amusing. In fact it felt like a very cheap way to show Chris and Kay getting married and I wonder if time and budget constraints played as big a part in doing this as any creativity.
The sad thing is that "Never a Dull Moment" has talent; Irene Dunne, Fred MacMurray and Andy Devine are all stars adept at getting big laughs. But unfortunately the writing really lets them down as again most of the humour is general visual comedy rather than amusing dialogue and that doesn't allow any of them a chance to build a character. There is also a young Natalie Woods and Gigi Perreau who to be frank whilst annoying end up being more entertaining than the adults because they at least have some natural banter between each other.
What this all boils down to is that "Never a Dull Moment" is a dull movie which really ends up feeling like filler, old storyline and jokes put together for no other reason than to give actors something to do and make a little profit for little work. It's not so much that it doesn't work but doesn't deliver anything new and that is what sadly makes it dull.