A Taxonomy of TV and Film’s Many, Many ‘Wives’

It’s a query that’s been requested many instances earlier than, however as The Time Traveler’s Wife makes its HBO Max debut, I really feel we should ask once more: Why is Hollywood so obsessive about wives, anyway?

From The Wife to The Good Wife, from The Stepford Wives to The First Wives’ Club, tv and particularly movie runs rampant with titles that hinge on a capital “W.” But much more amusing is the preponderance of titles that each one comply with the identical fundamental conference: “The [Insert Husband’s Occupation Here] Wife.”

Beyond The Time Traveler’s Wife, you’ve bought your Pilot’s Wife and your Preacher’s Wife, who should not be confused with The Priest’s Wife or The Pastor’s Wife or The Bishop’s Wife. (Otherwise, could God have mercy in your soul.) Possible tweaks to the system know no bounds; any actress might at some point discover herself enjoying a Rich Man’s Wife or a Scoundrel’s Wife—or worse, a Senator’s Wife. (The Senator’s Wife, from disgraced mega-producer Harvey Weinstein, seems to have by no means made it to display.)

A fast seek for films with “Husband” within the title yields far fewer outcomes than “Wife” does, and never a single one which follows that particular conference. So, wherefore all of the Wives?

Perhaps it’s the gravitas these titles lend. There is a sure shoulder-shuddering intrigue to saying a title like The Time Traveler’s Wife or The Preacher’s Wife. Then once more, The Zookeeper’s Wife doesn’t precisely take one’s breath away—even regardless of being, thematically, the gravest entry within the bunch. A cynic who’s spent the previous week studying miserable SCOTUS information would possibly recommend that these titles are a reasonably loud signal of how comfy we really feel defining girls by the lads they occur to marry moderately than by their very own phrases—and an individual in a greater temper would possibly gently say that at the least the top consequence remains to be fairly humorous. Here, on your perusal, are a few of Hollywood’s most memorable “Wives.”

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009, 2022)

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

The Concept: Author Audrey Niffenegger’s frustrations along with her love life impressed the 2003 novel that spawned each a film adaptation and, now, HBO’s new sequence. A science fiction romance, the story follows a person with a genetic dysfunction that catapults him unpredictably by time, leaving his spouse, Claire, to determine what to do whereas he’s gone. Eric Bana performed the time-traveling husband within the film; within the sequence, it’s Divergent heartthrob Theo James.

The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

The Wife: Loretta Young, who mockingly gained her Academy Award not as a “Wife” however as a “Daughter”—The Farmer’s Daughter, particularly

The Concept: Cary Grant performs an angel named Dudley, who visits an Episcopalian bishop so obsessive about constructing his church that he forgets what’s actually necessary. The bishop, nevertheless, grows cautious because the angel turns into extra concerned in his affairs—and attracts the eye of his long-suffering spouse. A Variety evaluation on the time credited Young for a “moving performance as the wife whose life is touched by an angel without her knowledge of his heavenly origin.”

My Best Friend’s Wife (2001)

The Wife: There are two wives on this case, performed by Meredith Salenger and Tara Westwood

The Concept: John Stamos and Daniel London play husbands within the post-Vietnam War Nineteen Seventies who, upon deciding they’re in a rut, got down to persuade their wives to swap spouses for one single taboo-breaking romp. Have mercy, certainly!

The Rich Man’s Wife (1996)

The Wife: Halle Berry

The Concept: A sultry Berry finds her character trapped in a terrifying thriller because of her husband’s unhealthy habits. A trailer for the movie consists of the basic tease, “In a world… where wealth can be seductive, 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)

The Wife: Sophia Loren

The Concept: The Italian actress performs a suicidal singer who falls in love with Father Don Mario, a priest who’s pledged celibacy. The movie, produced by Loren’s husband Carlo Ponti, reunites the actress along with her frequent display accomplice Marcello Mastroianni, whose priest struggles to take care of his righteousness within the face of the beautiful singer’s overtures.

The Butcher’s Wife (1991)

The Wife: Demi Moore

The Concept: Moore has copped to regretting this rom-com, which co-stars Jeff Daniels, Frances McDormand, and George Dzundza, and tanked with each critics and audiences. But the concept for the Terry Hughes movie—during which a clairvoyant marries a butcher below the mistaken perception that he’s her soulmate—remains to be fairly enjoyable!

The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)

The Wife: Jessica Chastain

The Concept: In spite of its deceptively cuddly title—and poster picture of Chastain holding a white tiger cub—this World War II drama is the darkest within the bunch. The movie adapts Diane Ackerman’s nonfiction e book about Jan and Antonina Żabińska, who rescued 300 Polish Jews from the Nazis by providing refuge of their zoo in Warsaw earlier than relocating them to secure homes.

The Scoundrel’s Wife (2002)

The Wife: Tatum O’Neal

The Concept: Another World War II movie, this one’s set in a small Louisiana fishing village because the U.S. enters the battle. The Scoundrel’s Wife (additionally launched below the title The Home Front within the U.S.) finds Oscar winner O’Neal enjoying a widow and suspected saboteur who falls in love with a Jewish refugee from Germany who turns into the city physician.

The Slugger’s Wife (1985)

The Wife: Rebecca De Mornay

The Concept: The Risky Business star performs a singer named Debby Huston who falls in love with Atlanta Braves baseball participant Darryl Palmer (Michael O’Keefe). The pair’s relationship goes south, nevertheless, when Darryl turns into more and more smothering and meddlesome in Debby’s skilled life.

The Preacher’s Wife (1996)

The Wife: Whitney Houston

The Concept: This one brings issues full circle. A remake of The Bishop’s Wife directed by Penny Marshall, The Preacher’s Wife boasts an all-star forged of not solely Houston, Denzel Washington, and Courtney B. Vance, but additionally Jenifer Lewis, Loretta Devine, and Gregory Hines. Washington performs Dudley on this model, whereas Vance performs a pastor struggling to maintain his congregation afloat. Houston, after all, performs his spouse—who, as within the authentic, goes from feeling uncared for by her husband to being fascinated by their new customer.

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