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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 1: The Country Wife (1675)
Slide 2: The Marriage of Figaro (1786)
Slide 3: Blondie (1930)
Slide 4: The Thin Man (1934)
Slide 5: My Favorite Wife (1940)
Slide 6: Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
Slide 7: Adam's Rib (1949)
Slide 8: We’re Not Married! (1952)
Slide 9: The Honeymooners (1955)
Slide 10: Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960)
Slide 11: The Lockhorns (1968)
Slide 12: La Cage aux Folles (1973)
Slide 13: Seems Like Old Times (1980)
Slide 14: Roseanne (1988)
Slide 15: The War of the Roses (1989)
Slide 16: Frankie & Johnny Are Married (2003)
Slide 17: It’s All Relative (2005)
Slide 14: Roseanne (1988)

Slide 14: Roseanne (1988)

In the late 80s and early 90s, comedies about marriage and family turned tough and even nasty. Shows like The Simpsons and Married with Children pulled no punches when portraying the devolving dysfunction of married life. Perhaps the most significant example of this new trend of family comedy was Roseanne, the ABC comedy creatively lead by Roseanne Barr that ran from 1988 to 1997.  The show’s central couple were Roseanne and Dan Conner (Barr and John Goodman), an overweight, working-class, slovenly pair who are constantly behind on their bills. Through the years, the couple lost jobs, found new jobs, and scraped by. Despite the characters’ desperate times, it was one of the most successful sitcoms of recent times, leading Roseanne to quip that the show made her "more money than God but not as much as Oprah."