Jim Scott (William Lundigan) returns from World War Two to discover his wife Connie (June Haver) has invested in a large house and set about letting out the rooms. But when they get a new tenant, Charley (Frank Fey), she suspects there’s more to this charming gent than meets the eye, and the couple’s marriage comes under strain when Jim’s war pal Roberta (Marilyn Monroe) moves in.
Love Nest is as nicey nicey as its name suggests, with the appealing central couple building a strong foundation of likeability. This combines with Old Hollywood charm to make it enjoyable despite having about as many flaws as the house has floors.
The first is that it needs to be funnier. It’s basically a comedy, but moments of humour are few and far between. There’s some interest to be found in seeing this long-separated couple find their feet in married life together, but both strands in the multi-story plot feel disconnected and underdeveloped.
The Roberta element has the initial gag of the veteran showing up and surprising us by being an attractive woman, but doesn’t go anywhere, with various scenes of jealousy between the couple feeling inconsequential. Meanwhile the story involving Charley, a man who goes from woman to woman with different names and identities, dominates the film, but has an unsatisfactory conclusion.