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, leading film historian Jeanine Basinger traces the many ways Hollywood has tussled with the tricky subject of marriage, explicating the relationships of countless marriages from Blondie and Dagwood to the heartrending couple in the Iranian A Separation, from Coach and his wife in Friday Night Lights to Tracy and Hepburn, and even to Laurel and Hardy (a marriage if ever there was one). A treasure trove of insight and sympathy, illustrated with scores of wonderfully telling movie stills, posters, and ads.
Praise for Jeanine Basinger’s I Do and I Don’t
“Fascinating. . . . The real fun comes from the splendidly crafted, creative, compelling critiques that make you want to see many movies again or for the first time.”
—The Boston Globe
“A breezy, fun excursion into Hollywood’s presentation of matrimony. . . . Deeply personal.”
—Los Angeles Times
“A witty look at how films portray marriage, and how these onscreen contradictions mirror the institution itself.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
“Comprehensive and cleverly written . . . a necessary addition to our understanding of movies about marriage.”
—The Washington Post
About the Author
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.