Random Factoid #408

9 09 2010

Marriage – there’s one in basically every movie.  And like we’ve been taught since middle school, in order for there to be a plot, there has to be conflict.  Marriages don’t get an exemption. 95% of all movie marriages are, in my estimation, either falling apart or struggling to maintain the façade that they are perfectly happy.

I’ve been lucky enough to have two parents that have been happily married for 19 years, so the only time I get to witness such great marital strife is on the big screen.  It’s there that I get the idea that divorce is this hunky-dory thing that happens to two people when they just can’t get along, and that adultery is perfectly acceptable when marriage isn’t working out.  Just look at us glorifying Brad and Angelina as the perfect couple; he cheated on Jennifer Aniston to be with her, and Hollywood thinks its perfectly OK.

Apparently, I’m not the only person noticing this.  I got this idea (which has now turned into a rant) from Cinematical, who observes this:

I do know about ‘movie marriage’, and I’ve come to the sad conclusion that most movie marriages — for the lack of a better word — suck. This epiphany came to me when I was watching the Tina Fey and Steve Carell comedy, “Date Night,” and I noticed that every time the movie would start to find its rhythm, the fun would grind to a halt as our two lead characters would have a heart-to-heart about their marital troubles (talk about a buzz kill).

I know what you’re going to say: “But there has to be conflict!” Sure, but in the case of “Date Night” we already had a big fat conflict — our lovable duo have been mistaken for a criminal couple and were plopped into the middle of a mob shakedown. Watching masters of wacky like Carell and Fey slow their roll for cliched exposition about how hard it is to keep the love alive was a disappointment to say the least, and I had to ask myself: Whatever happened to the ‘Madcap Marrieds’?

I feel like Hollywood has turned movies of marriage into cautionary tales.  Maybe by showing us enough people who disrespect the covenant of marriage, we will in turn be inspired to choose our spouses wisely.  Heaven knows, I don’t want to end up like Frank and April from “Revolutionary Road.”  The couples that are so bad it’s scary are the only ones I remember; I can’t pull a paradigm of happy marriage from a movie off the top of my head.

So what’s the message you are getting from Hollywood marriages?


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