by Corrie Glanville
With the Civilians’ You Better Sit Down on our Paramount Mainstage, please join us for these diverse cinematic depictions of divorce in the Bright Family Screening Room:
Starring Marcello Mastroianni in a hilarious turn as a married Sicilian baron who falls for his beautiful cousin and vows to wed her, but with divorce being illegal he must concoct a crime of passion to do away with his rather inconvenient wife.
Divorce Iranian Style (1998)
Directed by Ziba Mir-Hosseini and Kim Loginotto, this compelling documentary follows six women through Iran’s Family Law courts in a country where a woman must have her husband’s consent to divorce him. Angry, discontented and utterly brave, these women demand to be heard.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
It’s impossible to resist one of the sharpest comedies to come out of Hollywood in the 1940s. When James Stewart’s wry reporter shows up uninvited to Katharine Hepburn’s society wedding only to find her dashing ex, Cary Grant, has arrived as well, all hell breaks loose. I firmly believe you can never see this movie too many times.
The Palm Beach Story (1942)
A slightly lesser known film, The Palm Beach Story is Preston Sturges’ comedy of the American Dream; Joel McCrae plays an inventor who needs cash to develop his great idea so his loving w ife, Claudette Colbert, decides to raise fun ds by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.
Other films to check out:
The Squid & the Whale (2005)
My personal favorite in this category is the 2005 film The Squid & the Whale, starring Laura Linney and Jeff Daniels as the feuding parents with Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline as their young sons. Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, this semi-autobiographical tale set in 1980s New York is mainly told from the point of view of Eisenberg’s character, who finds his loyalty to his parents tested by their behavior. Alternately funny and excruciating, this tragi-comedy is a rare gem. The last scene will break your heart.