A light-hearted romantic drama starring Cary Grant & Irene Dunne as a couple who meet, fall in love, quarrel and reunite. While listening to a recording of “Penny Serenade”, Julie Gardiner Adams (Irene Dunne) begins reflecting on her past. She recalls her impulsive marriage to newspaper reporter Roger Adams (Carey Grant), which begins on a deliriously happy note but turns out to be fraught with tragedy. Other songs remind her of their courtship, their marriage, their desire for a child, and the joys and sorrows they have shared. A flood of memories come back to her as she ponders on their present problems and how they arose.
In the lower-middle-class Adams family, father and son are happy to work in a drugstore, but mother and daughter Alice try every possible social-climbing stratagem despite snubs and embarrassment. When Alice finally meets her dream man Arthur, mother nags father into a risky business venture and plans to impress Alice’s beau with an “upscale” family dinner. Will the excruciating results drive Arthur away?
When the Holmes Woolen Mill burns down, political activist Leopold Dilg is jailed for arson (and murder; one man was lost). Escaping, Leopold hides out in the home of his childhood sweetheart Nora Shelley …which she has just rented to unsuspecting law professor Michael Lightcap.
Lucky is tricked into missing his wedding to Margaret by the other members of Pop’s magic and dance act, and has to make $25,000 to be allowed to marry her. He and Pop go to New York where they run into Penny, a dancing instructor. She and Lucky form a successful dance partnership, but romance is blighted by his old attachment to Margaret and hers for Ricardo—the band leader who won’t play for them to dance together.