Nowhere is marriage more gloriously rendered than on film. Oh, I mean besides in real life. Whatever. Anyway, ever since my fiancé popped the question, I find it affecting my decision on what to pop into my DVD player. I’ve decided I will offer periodically my now-very-much-biased opinion on wedding movies, TV shows, and such.
I thought I’d kick things off with a look at some of my favorite celluloid-based married couples.
John and Jane Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Smith—I can’t think of a cooler looking married couple on film, living in a cooler house, wearing cooler clothes, wielding cooler cooking utinsels. Yeah, I know they were trying to kill each other, but I can get past that when they have the good sense to decorate their house with a Kentfield Cascade chandelier.
Stuart and May Mackenzie, So I Married an Axe Murderer—
Stuart: “Thirty years ago today, May and I were married. Some of you were there, some of you weren’t born, and some of you are now DEED! But, we both said “I do,” and we haven’t agreed on a single thing since.”
May: “That’s true!”
Stuart: “But I’m glad I married you, May, because hey, could’ve been worse.”
Henry and Martha Hackett, The Paper—There is no more accurate depiction on film of what it’s like to be a journalist than The Paper. I will out-argue anyone on this point with one hand tied behind my back while trying to make a publishing deadline. I also have a sneaking suspicion that Henry and Martha’s relationship—he’s an intrepid, Diet Coke-swilling, 12-hour-workday Metro editor for the scrappy upstart paper in the city, she’s a former reporter turned “regular” writer harboring some major insecurity about her decision to leave newspapers (cough cough)—is the most accurate depiction of what our wedded life is going to be like.
Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind—Hey SnacksPlease, she kept her last name! And even when their relationship wasn’t going so hot (like when he was, um, sort of technically having his way with her against her will), she knew she had one thing that she could always count on: real estate. No, no, that’s not why they’re on the list. When I was growing up I read GWTW and watched the movie over and over. I thought Scarlett wasted her time on Ashley Wilkes. Rhett was clearly the real deal and he was the first one in Scarlett’s life who didn’t put up with her garbage (cough cough cough). And he’d run blockades to bring her new clothes from Paris. Just sayin’.
George and Mary Bailey, It’s a Wonderful Life—They had no money, a kid named Zuzu and a decided lack of job security. But throughout their relationship, they reveled in the sweetest, goofiest moments. (“What is it you want, Mah-ray?…You, you want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.”) And they were, quite literally, each other’s reason for living. This Christmas’ viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life will hold even more meaning than usual.
Because, as on film, it is indeed a wonderful life.