Hollywood’s Portrayal of Marriage (Part 1)


This is a subject I want to dig into in-depth over the next couple days, but due to my other daily duty–wifey–I’m super short on time this fine Saturday evening. In just 30 short minutes, many boys (and a few girls) will infiltrate my abode for a fun night of eating, games, and various other antics.

But I came across this article at Relevant Magazine today that discussed Hollywood’s portrayal of marriage, the way it’s morphed over the years and how the mixed messages from different films create a very messy image for audiences to sort through. Interesting concept, eh?

Here’s a part I found particularly thought-provoking:

But during this Oscar season and the couple of years prior, it seems that “alternative families” are getting more positive coverage than ever, while heterosexual marriages and family life are shown almost exclusively in states of misery or mockery. Hollywood may be making just a small percentage of films and shows that have these attitudes, but perhaps the bigger issue here lies in the way the media culture has shone a highly biased spotlight upon them, furthering their agendas into discussions on the news and talk shows and ubiquitous advertising.

As a writer, noticing these trends in film (or literature) is a crucial indication of our society’s perception of family. If what audiences want is realism, how can I interpret the story of a married couple in a way that’s both realistic and optimistic? Because if there’s anything the institution of marriage needs these days, it’s a shot of optimism. The perception of marriage in media as a prison or all around bad idea is becoming more pervasive and, I believe, corrupts our belief that a traditional marriage and family can work–and not only work, but be a beautiful, rewarding thing.

Sure, arguments and mishaps are funny and realistic and marriage is a heck of a lot harder than we’re willing to believe when we’re dating or engaged, but that doesn’t mean we have to splash black paint on the Divinci-esque work of art that marriage can be…

That’s all for now. I’ll be back tomorrow. Off I go to pour salsa and chips and bake mozzarella bites 🙂


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