I just saw Bachelorette (short review: Save yourself.) and have run across a couple links about how marriage and related issues are portrayed at the movie palace. The Right-Wing Film Geek reviews the new adaptation of Henry James’s divorce novel What Maisie Knew; Helen Rittelmeyer truffles up a sad/delightful quote from early Hollywood. (By the way, you should be following the guy behind RWFG on Twitter, and checking Helen’s blog.)

I also have a question. I can think of several relatively recent really good movies which explore the suffering and shattering of identity caused by divorce (The Squid and the Whale) or adultery (Eyes Wide Shut, The Secret Lives of Dentists). But even in these movies, if I’m remembering them correctly, the couple or at best the nuclear family exists in a world of its own. That’s not a criticism–the claustrophobic or fever-dream nature of all three of those movies is part of their impact. But the role of friends and the broader society in creating and sustaining a marriage isn’t really portrayed. I’d be interested if any of you all can recommend recent, not-awful movies in which that role is explored. It doesn’t have to be an entirely positive view of society’s involvement in marriage–I think A Separation would count–just a view in which it’s not taken for granted that families or individuals are isolated in their time of crisis.