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The Comedy of Marriage
Posted May 17, 2010 to photo album "The Comedy of Marriage"
In anticipation of the release of Lisa Cholodenko’s comedy The Kids Are All Right, FilmInFocus’ Peter Bowen and Nick Dawson look at works across multiple mediums that also poke fun at the institution of marriage.
Slide 13: Seems Like Old Times (1980)
Playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon has tackled the subject of marriage repeatedly throughout his work, first with his newlywed comedy Barefoot in the Park (1967), and continuing with such films as The Out of Towners (1970), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975) and The Marrying Man (1991). In his 1980 Seems Like Old Times – directed by Jay Sandrich, a veteran of sitcoms like I Love Lucy and The Cosby Show – Simon explored the idea that marriages never truly end for some people. The two central characters, writer Nick (Chevy Chase) and humanitarian lawyer Glenda (Goldie Hawn), are divorced, but when Nick is framed for bank robbery, he ends up at the home of Glenda and her new husband, Ira (Charles Grodin), the D.A. out to collar Nick. Though Glenda resists Nick’s charms for almost the entire movie, ultimately the chemistry between them is too much for her to deny, and she leaves her safe, new marriage for the exciting, failed union she bailed on before. Subsequently, That Old Feeling (1997), the Bette Midler comedy about reunited exes, also tackled the idea that the one who drives you crazy in a bad way also usually drives you crazy in a good way.