So why is it difficult to make movies about happy marriages? Because if you’ve got one, you don’t need to pay to see one. If you don’t, you really don’t want to watch it. So here are five of the best of those uncommon movie relationships.
1) Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man series) – Obviously. Was there ever a married couple that made it look easier? William Douglas and Myrna Loy seem like the cool, wisecracking couple that everyone hangs around at the party. And they solve crimes, too. Have another drink, Nora.
2) Chuck and Glennis Yeager (The Right Stuff) – Riding horses. Chasing each other through the high desert. Throwing the ball around with the kids in the yard. Getting toasted at Pancho’s after the kids are put to bed. Agonizing through death-defying flights. They ain’t got much, but they got each other, Flyboy.
3) Bart Tare and Annie Laurie Starr (Gun Crazy) – Sure, they’re sociopathic gun nuts on the run from Johnny Law. But who says nutjobs can’t have love, too? I mean, besides psychiatrists. These two fit each other like hand in glove, or, as Bart notes, “gun and ammunition.” The moment when they try to split in separate cars but cannot is one of the most romantic moments I’ve seen on film.
4) George and Mary Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life) – Well, come on.
5) The Constant Gardener (Justin and Tessa Quayle) – Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz are not in an untroubled marriage, but a loving and passionate one. And few films capture the currencies of marriage for the shy partner as well as Fernando Mireilles’ African political potboiler.