Kaion's Reviews > I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies

I Do and I Don't by Jeanine Basinger
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did not like it
bookshelves: nonfiction, unfinished

1. Conceptually flawed: Basinger seems to think marriage has to be defined by boredom and domesticity. This disqualifies movies such as The Thin Man, because who wants to see films which portray couples that actually enjoy each other's company and/or are not largely concerned with housework.

Actually her criteria for "marriage films" is highly inconsistent and basically amounts to "I recognize my marriage in this depiction." The discourse largely continues on this level.


2. Structurally flawed: What structure? Basinger tackles the films she wants to talk about when she wants to talk about them. She offers little in the way of analysis or synthesis, and much in the way of plot summary. This might be okay if you just want to hear about classic-era Hollywood films. Except for the minor detail that I Do and I Don't is also--


3. Factually flawed: On the very first page, her first error occurs; The Marriage Playground (1929) was an early sound film, not a silent. Of course, in this early sound era, a silent version would have also been distributed for movie theaters that had not undergone the costly conversion. So perhaps this is mere misrepresentation.

However, she fudges more important details as well. Adam's Rib is a late screwball in which a pair of married lawyers, played by Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, face off in the courtroom in a case that becomes a firestorm for the battle of the sexes. Good luck making sense of that from Basinger's description; she mistakenly says that Tracy's character is the judge in the case, not the prosecutor! Rating: 1 star
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Reading Progress

May 23, 2015 – Shelved
May 23, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
May 27, 2015 – Shelved as: nonfiction
July 4, 2015 – Started Reading
July 5, 2015 – Shelved as: unfinished
July 5, 2015 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Kienie (new)

Kienie Ouch.


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