Sunday, December 21, 2008

Love and marriage on film

[Possible spoilers]

After watching the marital strife in Revolutionary Road, I've been thinking, in nearly four years as a film critic, how many films have I seen with happy or at least loving marriages? I don't mean films that end in weddings. I mean films where mature main characters experience a significant length of the story as husband and wife. The ones I can come up with off the top of my head:

The New World (the last section)
The Fountain (although cancer keeps it from happiness)
Tell No One (but separated for most of the film)
World Trade Center
The X-Files: I Want to Believe (technically not married, and takes place in a rough patch)

I'm sure I'll think of more. But it's a rather distressingly small list. Mike Leigh has said that Happy-Go-Lucky was his attempt to see if you could make an interesting film about a fundamentally happy character. I've been wondering, can a modern filmmaker make a film starring a happily married couple? I don't know. But I'm surprised that few have tried.

UPDATE: The Namesake

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