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The Comedy of Marriage

Updated May 17, 2010

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.

Introduction
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)
Introduction

Introduction

Writer-director Lisa Cholodenko’s comedy The Kids Are All Right tells the story of a lesbian couple (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore), whose two teenage children contact their sperm-donor birth father (Mark Ruffalo) and, as they say in the business, hilarity ensues. Part of the fun is how Cholodenko mines marriage for all its comic potential: “Go easy on the wine, hon, it’s daytime,” says Moore to Bening, who shoots back, “OK, same goes for the micromanaging.” So what’s so funny about marriage? It turns out the better question is what isn’t. The following slideshow looks at this funny institution in Mozart’s 18th century The Marriage of Figaro and Wycherly’s Restoration comedy The Country Wife, as well as films (like The Thin Man and Frankie & Johnny Are Married), TV shows (from The Honeymooners to It’s All Relative) and even comic strips (Blondie).