Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 21
  2. Negative: 8 out of 21
  1. Mrs. Winterbourne doesn't amount to much. But it's such a professional job, done with such glow and verve -- and the people making it seem to be having such an infectiously good time -- that it's hard to resist. Good comedies are easy to love anyway. [19 Apr 1996, p.C]
  2. Of course, turning a novel by Woolrich into a light romantic froth is a little like turning King Lear into a musical comedy. But Benjamin has the right comic touch to pull this off.
  3. 63
    Because it is light and stylish and good-hearted, it is quite possible to enjoy, in the right frame of mind. This is more of a movie to see on video, on an empty night when you need something to hurl at the gloom.
  4. 60
    It's all a little too coincidental for comfort, and surprisingly short on laughs for a comedy, but nonetheless this is a light, well-meaning flick, improved considerably by Lake's scatty heroine.
  5. 50
    Happily, MacLaine (who can pull off these lovable eccentric dowagers while she's sleeping) and Fraser, showcasing a previously untapped flair for romantic comedy, keep Lake on her toes. [19 Apr 1996, p.1D]
  6. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The script is a little too clunky to serve Ricki Lake well, and Richard Benjamin's direction is a bit too sluggish to disguise her limited range as he crams this romantic fairy tale a little too forcefully into its predetermined mold. [19 Apr 1996, p.53]
  7. 50
    This film mistakes action for energy, ridiculous circumstances for comedy, and a mismatched male/female pairing for romance.
  8. Reviewed by: Marsha McCreadie
    Lake was fab in John Waters's films, especially Hairspray, but Fraser is more adroit in this screwball mode. Lake by now may be too brash and over-the-top for the big screen: too much her own persona. [23 Apr 1996]
  9. The comedy is appealing as Hollywood's umpteenth variation on the Cinderella story, but think about its patrician views of upper-class privilege and you might find it too simplistic for comfort.
  10. But the film, written by Phoef Sutton and Lisa-Maria Radano and directed by Richard Benjamin in a style cute enough to peel paint off the walls, can't do much to generate romantic sparks between its two young leads.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    As calculated as the cries of 'Go Ricki!' on its star's talkshow, Mrs Winterbourne is a sappy, old-fashioned and predictable vehicle for actress-turned-talk maven-turned-actress-again Ricki Lake that delivers requisite warmth but few laughs. Lake's ebullient charm and solid performances by Shirley MacLaine, Brendan Fraser and Miguel Sandoval provide some highlights.
  12. Reviewed by: Suzanne Tobin
    In this case of mistaken identity, Ricki Lake's career takes a dubious step from trashy TV talk show to B movie.
  13. 40
    Ricki Lake makes an appealing, though unlikely, fairy tale heroine in the derivative romance Mrs. Winterbourne: If only this stale trifle didn't call for the bewitching or pixilating, for the abracadabra of a Bullock or a Pfeiffer. For a Cinderella story, it's sorely without magic.
  14. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Somehow, Hollywood has managed to reinvent the hard-boiled source novel -- Cornel Woolrich's "I Married a Dead Man" -- as a soft-centered candy of a comedy, and the result is indigestible.
  15. Narratively, the film strikes all the sentimental chords that audiences typically find so reassuring, but the music grates here, sounding mechanical and flat, lacking the single ingredient indispensable to any uplifting fable - a charming belief in its own sweet nature. [19 Apr 1996, p. C1]
  16. But clever casting, and inspirational dieting, can't make up for this poor little rich girl's shortcomings as a comedienne. Under Mr. Benjamin's vulgar tutelage, she portrays Connie's coarseness coarsely, with an accent that seems to have come from Ida Lupino by way of Madonna. [19 Apr 1996, p.A11]
  17. Translating Woolrich's pulpy obsessiveness and crazy contrivances into the stuff of light comedy is no easy matter, and the movie gets as far as it does mainly with the help of Lake and Shirley MacLaine.
  18. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Lake and Fraser never come close to believability as a romantic couple. There's more chemistry going on in a grain of salt.
  19. 20
    The improbabilities pile up on top of each other in Mrs. Winterbourne, an anxious-to-please romantic comedy about mistaken identity that sounds vaguely familiar.
  20. Ricki Lake, who occupies one of the lower links on the TV trash-talk food chain, is promoted to ugly duckling in Mrs. Winterbourne, a film that waddles through the movie-memory super-mart shoplifting everything but charm.
  21. With Lake at the center, something that could have been innocuous becomes painful, and a sure shot at mediocrity is transformed into one of the worst films of the year.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 3 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 1, 2012
    Why, oh why, do I like this movie? It's a a predictable, chick flick, cinderella story... but somehow it's charming and truly likable. The casting might have something to do with it. Shirley Maclaine is always awesome. Full Review »