Dunne, quite simply, is a marvel, deliciously caustic when required, genuinely illuminated by passion, touchingly stoic when events turn against her, while Boyer gains in humanity by using his suave Gallic charm as a mere cover for raging self-doubt. The constantly shifting emotions of their lengthy final scene make it a mini-masterpiece of acting, writing and direction.
With a head-shaking plot so foolproof it was remade twice, this romantic fantasy starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer was so beloved by Cary Grant he convinced director Leo McCarey to remake it with himself as the star (as An Affair to Remember). [03 Apr 2020, p.E1]
Los Angeles Times
Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne are perfectly cast in this four-hankie weepie. [03 Dec 1998, p.F48]
The Seattle Times
The first and best version of Leo McCarey's tale of a shipboard romance that turns serious. [20 Oct 1994, p.E3]
Unlike many romantic comedies of the current age, life is decidedly not what you make of it in McCarey’s films; instead, it comes at you hard and cruel, and if you’re lucky you’ll find the right person with whom to weather the storm.