Never a Dull Moment had a plot I thought I would be bored with. I realized it was a comedy but I thought it was not going to be too great. I happy to say I was wrong because as soon as Irene Dunne is put on a western ranch I could not stop laughing.
Kay Kingsley (Dunne) is a successful songwriter and composer living in New York City. She helps to organize a charity that benefits kids in Manhattan. The charity is a rodeo show with Chris Heyward (Fred MacMurray) as one of the riders. Kay’s friend notices Chris looking at Kay and Chris’s friend Orvie (Andy Devine) notices Chris looking at Kay. The two friends have them meet and Chris asks Kay out for dinner.
As you can guess not too long later Chris and Kay are married. He takes her back to his place out west. Kay tries to keep an open mind but gets nervous as they get closer to his ranch. At first she thinks the neighbor’s nice clean house is their house. A stone’s throw away is Chris’s old house. It is not run down but it is not what Kay was expecting. Before she can walk into the house Chris’s daughters Nan (Natalie Wood) and Tina come home from school. They seem unsure of her at first then they quickly take to her. The girls show Kay around the house. As Kay walks towards the bed in Chris’s room she nearly falls through a loose floorboard!
As Kay and Chris prepare for bed after a long day, Orvie and a whole bunch of people come banging on the house. They are there to throw the new couple a party. All Kay wanted to do was go to sleep and now she has to entertain people. Kay has a lot of fun dancing and singing with her new neighbors and friends. Chris sees his grumpy neighbor Mears looking in through the window. Mears has control of the water that flows into Chris’s house and into his land. Chris thinks the man is there because the music is too loud. Kay goes outside to bring him into the party thinking he might soften up if he is asked to join the party. Unfortunately Mears gets humiliated when he falls into some food and storm out of the house. The party does not end until early in the morning. Not too long after they go to bed Kay and Chris are woken up by some of his friends looking for him to go out cougar hunting with them.
Kay goes back to sleep for a while when Chris leaves. The girls get up and decide to get Kay up so they can teach her how to do chores. The girls put Kay through the ringer that day. She walks in from falling down in the barn, riding a horse and falling off the horse all sore and tired. Chris comes home with a dead cougar he wants prepared for dinner. Kay goes out on the porch and gets the life scared out of her when she sees the dead animal in front of her. She goes back in the house and starts crying. Chris hugs her and she says she cannot cook a cougar.
As time goes on Kay tries her hardest at house work. She tries cooking biscuits and they come out all weird. A high wind comes through and brings dust into the house. On that very day her writing partner Jed comes to the house. He tells her he wants her to come back to New York to help him write songs for a play. Kay’s face lights up with the thought of returning to the city to work on music again. She does not see the harm in going to a while to make some money but she tells Jed she will get back to him. Chris comes home that night completely wiped out. He tells Kay that before her he would go to bed dirty and with an empty stomach. The girls had heard that Kay might be going back to New York and tell their father. Kay walks in and says she is not going anywhere.
Chris had gone out one day and found a watering hole on his property was bone dry. He tells Kay is going to tell Mears once and for all that he needs more water than what he is being given. Kay and the family friend Jean go into town. Some well to do annoying dude ranchers come into the store where the women are as well as Mears. The ranchers bring in their noisy annoying grandkids and they wreck the place. The ranchers tell Mears that they bought a ranch not far from him. Mears hates the thought of the those dude ranchers being anywhere near him. Kay uses this to her advantage by telling Mears Chris was thinking of selling his ranch to them because there is no water coming in. Mears quickly goes home and draws up rights to the water supply for Chris.
The next day Chris tells Kay he wants her to go out hunting with him and his friends. The following morning Kay wakes up to find the men all gone and the real reason they brought her was so she could make breakfast. While she is alone she thinks she hears a cougar and shoots it. When Chris and the men come back they find Kay killed Mears’s prize bull. Now Chris will never get the water he needs. They argue and Kay decides to go back to New York.
Chris travels with the rodeo again to make money. Kay and Jed have been working on material. The music is supposed to be about New York but Kay cannot keep her mind out of the west and the ranch. They both think they hear spurs clinking but that it is only their imaginations until her dog goes nuts hearing them as well. They open the door and Nan and Tina storm in hugging Kay. Orvie carried Chris up the stairs. Chris and Kay both realize they have been lost without each other and get back together.
Irene Dunne was fabulous. And I mean fabulous as in her acting because she never acted terribly in her films and fabulous as in she was fifty-two years old when she made this film and she looked incredible. I loved how she was not afraid to get dirty and get put through the ringer as actress for certain comedic scenes. According to IMDB Dunne took over the role when Myrna Loy passed it over. There is no way in hell I could have seen Myrna Loy in this role. Dunne was so classy and sophisticated but she was not so classy and sophisticated like Loy who you cannot imagine doing a role like this. Dunne just had that great comedic touch and silliness that made her believable in the role. All I have to say about Fred MacMurray is that he was good. He did not leave an impact on me at all.
Never a Dull Moment is a really cute comedy. It is not one of Irene Dunne’s best comedy films but she is so amazing and so funny in all her scenes. She truly looked out of place on a ranch setting and it just makes her more believable. Never a Dull Moment is not available on DVD nor is it on Youtube. If TCM airs the film again definitely watch it.