When the film begins, married New Yorkers Ann and David Smith havent left their bedroom for three days due to a spat. Happily, they reconcile, but all of Anns relationship rules leave David feeling a little controlled. Ann asks him an important question before she lets him get back to work: if he could do it all over again, would he have married her? He answers with a "no"— not the right answer.
After a lot of soothing on Davids part, Ann finally lets him go to work. While there, a notary from Idaho visits Davids practice (hes a lawyer) and says that due to a technicality, Ann and David arent really married. Rather than being upset, David is titillated at the prospect of being with Ann and treating it as an illicit affair. Meanwhile, the same notary, who has known Ann since she was a little girl, visits her and her mother. He tells her of the news, and Anns mother is shocked. Ann, on the other hand, isnt worried because she knows David will propose and marry her that night. But while visiting their old dating spot, Momma Lucys Restaurant, Ann discovers that David has no intention of telling her the news or marrying her anytime soon. Her anger only intensifies when theyre home, and David is jauntily getting ready for bed—getting champagne, putting on his PJs with a pocket square. Ann knows this song and dance, and in a flash of anger, she kicks David out, because he had the gall to want to sleep with his technically unmarried wife
Notable for being Carole Lombards penultimate film (her last being To Be or Not to Be) before dying in a plane crash at the age of 33. Its also worth noting that this was Hitchcocks only straight Romantic Comedy / Screwball Comedy film, and quite different than his comedy-infused thrillers.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith provides examples of:
- Alcohol Hic: Jeff lets one out right after his second drink.
- All Women Are Prudes: Played Straight with Anns mother and Ann Then, Subverted at the end where Ann has no problem getting back with David. Sexy times ensue.
- All Men Are Perverts: How dare David think that he can get some when hes technically not married but has been common-law for three years!
- Amusement Park: Jeff and Ann go to the fair and get stuck on the parachute ride.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Ann and David. Come on! Just get back together.
- Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Of course, they get back together.
- Brutal Honesty: What gets David into trouble with Ann.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Poor Jeff can only have two glasses of liquor before hes a bumbling fool.
- Catch Your Death of Cold: While stuck on the parachute ride, it starts to rain. Ann tells Jeff that hes catching cold quickly, and the moment they get off, they need to go Jeffs place and change clothes.
- Contrived Coincidence: What happens right after David mentions that if he wasnt married to Ann, he wouldnt be married at all? Someone informs them that they arent technically married.
- Creator Cameo: Hitchcock appears after David comes out of his apartment building, walking past him.
- Disposable Fiancée: Ann is engaged to Jeff for a short while. We all know this won't last for long since he's bland perfection.
- Divorce Is Temporary: There wasnt technically a marriage to need a divorce, but Ann and David, especially Ann, go their different ways for a while like a divorced couple. Albeit, temporarily.
- Even the Rats Won't Touch It: At Momma Lucys, David is concerned that the cat wont eat the soup theyre eating. It has eaten everything else, except the soup.David Smith: I'd give five bucks to see that cat take a sip of that soup.
- Exiled to the Couch: Exiled to the country club.
- Love Epiphany: Jeff doesnt come to Anns defense when David angrily holds her down, and she realizes that Jeffs gentleman qualities are spineless, and she'd rather be with David; hes someone who wont put up with her crap.
- Nice Hat: Ann sports some beautiful 1940s hats.
- Screwball Comedy
- Sexy Backless Outfit: Carole wears a beautiful black dress with a two-tiered skirt, and a scoop back.
- Sleeping Single: Averted. Ann and Davids bedroom shows only one bed.
- Slip into Something More Comfortable: Averted. Once Jeff gets home, he says this exact line, but comes out wearing another white tie outfit.
- Southern Gentleman: Jeff Custer.David: Why you hill-billy ambulance chaser.
- The Teetotaler: Jeff never drinks, because he was influence by a Temperance sermon as a young man.
- Wardrobe Malfunction: Ann got married in a black skirt-suit, but it has "shrunk" (according to Ann) and she needs to use pins to keep it together. Unfortunately, they keep coming undone.