I Do and I Don't by Jeanine Basinger
A History of Marriage in the Movies

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But Ms. Basinger's selection for "the most lifelike example of a real married couple's relationship" is surprising: Laurel and Hardy. Why? The way they bickered.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

From one of our leading film historians and interpreters: a brilliantly researched, irresistibly witty, delightfully illustrated examination of “the marriage movie”; what it is (or isn’t) and what it has to tell us about the movies—and ourselves.

As long as there have been feature movies there have been marriage movies, and yet Hollywood has always been cautious about how to label them—perhaps because, unlike any other genre of film, the marriage movie resonates directly with the experience of almost every adult coming to see it. Here is “happily ever after”—except when things aren't happy, and when “ever after” is abruptly terminated by divorce, tragedy . . . or even murder. With her large-hearted understanding of how movies—and audiences—work, Jeanine Basinger traces the many ways Hollywood has tussled with this tricky subject, explicating the relationships of countless marriages from Blondie and Dagwood to the heartrending couple in the Iranian A Separation, from Tracy and Hepburn to Laurel and Hardy (a marriage if ever there was one) to Coach and his wife in Friday Night Lights.
A treasure trove of insight and sympathy, illustrated with scores of wonderfully telling movie stills, posters, and ads.

 

About Jeanine Basinger

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Jeanine Basinger is the chair of film studies at Wesleyan University and the curator of the cinema archives there. She has written nine other books on film, including A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930-1960; Silent Stars, winner of the William K. Everson Film History Award; Anthony Mann; The World War II Combat Film: Anatomy of a Genre; and American Cinema: One Hundred Years of Filmmaking, the companion book for a ten-part PBS series.







Author Residence: Middletown, CT
 
Published January 29, 2013 by Vintage. 432 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for I Do and I Don't
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Judith Newman on Mar 08 2013

Basinger is wonderfully insightful, and her witty asides made me laugh out loud.

Read Full Review of I Do and I Don't: A History o... | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Emily Leider on Jan 25 2013

But Ms. Basinger's selection for "the most lifelike example of a real married couple's relationship" is surprising: Laurel and Hardy. Why? The way they bickered.

Read Full Review of I Do and I Don't: A History o... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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