I watched Cary Grant & Irene Dunne in My Favourite Wife yesterday. What a charming film! My older daughter & I chuckled all the way through. I would highly recommend it. It's a little slapstick and the storyline is somewhat predictable but the performance by the main actors makes it all worthwhile.
I was thinking as I watched it about the stereotyping of the 40's and 50's. To hear feminists talk today, all the women then were completely under the thumb of their husbands. But watching a movie like that shows that people then had a much higher regard for the relationship between husband and wife. Grant & Dunne show a married couple who have been separated for 7 years (she was presumed dead after a shipwreck) but whose relationship is still as strong as ever.
I remember watching Mrs. Miniver a few years ago and thinking the same thing. The marriage relationship was great in that movie too. And it's not even that they draw a lot of attention to it - it's just solidly together. The writing doesn't presume to make fun of marriage and the actors obviously are comfortable with the idea that a married couple can have fun, can communicate and can truly be together. It's not often we see that type of relationship in more modern movies.
I don't think a lot of people, especially those who would call themselves feminists, can conceive of a strong woman together with a strong man and understand how the woman can be strong and yet still not take the leading role in a marriage. Part of the problem is that I don't think people have seen a lot of marriages that work well in that way, at least not in recent times. And maybe part of the problem is that they don't know what they are looking for and they are so busy looking at the "problems" with the structure of the marriage that they miss seeing the true relationship.
So enjoy watching My Favourite Wife and then contemplate what it tells us about marriage!