A taxonomy of the many “wives” of TV and film

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This is a question that has been asked many times, but how The Time Traveler’s Wife debuts on HBO Max, I think we have to ask ourselves again: why is Hollywood is so obsessed with wives anyway?

Out of Wife to the good wife, apart from The Women of Stepford to The Ex Club, Television and especially film series are common with titles revolving around a capital “W”. But even more amusing is the preponderance of titles that all follow the same basic convention: “The [Insérez la profession du mari ici] Wife.”

Apart from The Time Traveler’s Wifeyou have yours The pilot’s wife and the preacher’s wife, with whom not to confuse The priest’s wife gold Pastor’s wife gold The bishop’s wife. (If not, may God have mercy on your soul.) The possible modifications of the formula know no bounds; Any actress could one day find herself in a role The rich man’s wife Where The villain’s wife– or even worse, a The senator’s wife. (The Senator’s Wifeby disgraced mega-producer Harvey Weinstein, never seems to have made it to the big screen.)

A quick search for movies with “husband” in the title yields far fewer results than “wife” and not one that follows that specific convention. So why all women?

Perhaps it is the Gravitas that bestow these titles. the is a certain intrigue shrug, a title as if to say The Time Traveler’s Wife gold The preacher’s wife. Here again, The warden’s wife doesn’t exactly take your breath away – even though it’s the most serious entry of the bunch. A cynic who has spent the past week reading the depressing SCOTUS news might assume that these headlines are a pretty strong sign of how we define women by the men they marry, not on their own terms – and a anyone in a better mood could kindly say that at least the end result is still pretty funny. Here are some of Hollywood’s most memorable brides.

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009, 2022)

Wife: Rachel McAdams (2009), Rose Leslie (2022)

The concept: Author Audrey Niffenegger’s frustration with her love life inspired the 2003 novel, which has spawned both a film adaptation and now HBO’s new series. The sci-fi novel story follows a man with a genetic disease that unpredictably catapults him through time, leaving his wife Claire to decide what to do while he’s gone. Eric Bana played the time-traveling husband in the film; in the series it is different The idol Theo James.

The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

Wife: Loretta Young, who ironically won her Oscar not for “wife” but for “daughter” —the farmer’s daughter, special

The concept: Cary Grant plays an angel named Dudley who visits an Episcopal bishop so obsessed with building his church that he forgets what’s really important. However, the bishop becomes suspicious when the angel meddles more and more in his business – and attracts the attention of his long-suffering wife. A diversity Critics at the time credited Young with a “moving portrayal of the woman whose life is touched by an angel, unaware of her heavenly origins”.

My Best Friend’s Wife (2001)

Wife: In this case, there are two wives, played by Meredith Salenger and Tara Westwood

The concept: John Stamos and Daniel London play husbands in the post-Vietnam War 1970s who, realizing they’re at an impasse, try to convince their wives to trade their spouses for a taboo-breaking battalion. Have mercy!

The Rich Man’s Wife (1996)

Wife: Berry Room

The concept: A feisty Berry finds her character trapped in a terrifying thriller because of her husband’s bad behavior. A trailer for the film includes the classic tease: “In one world… Where wealth can be alluring, beauty can be dangerous, and secrets can be deadly, no one has more to gain – or lose – than a rich man’s wife. If you say so!

The Priest’s Wife (1970)

Wife: Sophia Loren

The concept: The Italian actress plays a suicidal singer who falls in love with Father Don Mario, a priest who has taken a vow of celibacy. Produced by Loren’s husband, Carlo Ponti, the film reunites the actress with her frequent co-star Marcello Mastroianni, whose priest struggles to maintain his integrity in the face of the gorgeous singer’s overtures.

The Butcher’s Wife (1991)

Wife: Demi Moore

The concept: Moore managed to come to terms with this romantic comedy starring Jeff Daniels, Frances McDormand and George Dzundza, which won critical and public acclaim. But the idea of ​​the Terry Hughes movie – in which a psychic marries a butcher, mistakenly believing he’s her soul mate – is still kind of funny!

The Guardian’s Wife (2017)

Wife: Jessica Chastain

The concept: Despite its deceptively cozy title — and the poster image of Chastain with a white tiger cub — this World War II drama is the darkest of the bunch. The film adapts Diane Ackerman’s non-fiction book about Jan and Antonina Żabińska, who saved 300 Polish Jews from the Nazis by providing sanctuary in their Warsaw zoo before relocating them to shelters.

The Villain’s Wife (2002)

Wife: Tatum O’Neal

The concept: Another WWII movie, this one takes place in a small fishing village in Louisiana when the United States enters the war. The villain’s wife (also published as The home front in the United States), Oscar winner O’Neal finds a widow and suspected saboteur who falls in love with a Jewish refugee from Germany who becomes the town doctor.

The Thug’s Wife (1985)

Wife: Rebecca de Mornay

The concept: This A risky business Star plays a singer named Debby Huston who falls in love with Atlanta Braves baseball player Darryl Palmer (Michael O’Keefe). However, the couple’s relationship takes a turn for the worse as Darryl becomes increasingly oppressive and meddles in Debby’s professional life.

The Preacher’s Wife (1996)

Wife: whitney houston

The concept: This closes the circle. A reissue of The bishop’s wife Directed by Penny MarshallThe preacher’s wife features an all-star cast, not only with Houston, Denzel Washington and Courtney B. Vance, but also with Jenifer Lewis, Loretta Devine and Gregory Hines. Washington plays Dudley in this version while Vance plays a pastor struggling to keep his church afloat. Houston plays his wife, of course – who, like the original, feels neglected by her husband and intrigued by his new visitor.

A taxonomy of the many, many “wives” of television and film

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A taxonomy of the many “wives” of TV and film


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