Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged marriage

Marie and Bruce (4/8/11)

When I was a kid I used to stay out of sight when my parents fought, fearful that their vitriol would extend to me. But I always listened, eager to understand the conflict. So it is with Marie and Bruce, Wallace Shawn’s look at the most dysfunctional of dysfunctional relationships. The play begins even before a word of dialogue is uttered. As the audience enters the theater, Marie (a furious and pained Marisa Tomei) and Bruce (a disaffected and cool Frank Whaley) are lying on a large, ill-made bed in center stage. He’s asleep.


Don’t let the relationship-centric plot fool you; Monogamy is not a chick flick. In fact, it’s one of the more interesting films I’ve seen that explores fears about committing oneself to just one person for the rest of one’s life, from a wholly male perspective. Typically these kinds of heteronormative man-boy treatises on marriage phobia are treated with ample doses of trite and predictable humor.

Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke and Finding Home

I’m sharing this book with everyone I know. Caitlin Shetterly’s Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke and Finding Home is a strong memoir about a young couple going broke in the recession and it gives readers the satisfying feeling of walking around someone else’s shoes for 250 pages. We’re all connected by some basic humanity and a good memoir reinforces this connection as we don the cloak of another with ease.

The Last Pretence

In the South Indian town of Machilipatnam, Mallika gives birth to twins, Tara and Siva. Emotionally and psychologically damaged when her daughter dies during childbirth, Mallika finds herself unable to love Siva who is a constant reminder of Tara’s death. Pretending that Siva is Tara, both Mallika and Siva embark on a downward spiral of self-destruction that ends in tragedy.

I'm a Registered Nurse, Not a Whore

My grandmother was a nurse. She's retired now, but I remember how she used to chastise her grandchildren, scolding us about washing our hands, eating certain foods, and getting exercise. Above all, she was straightforward about our bodies.

Monica & David

One of the many things people take for granted—Americans especially—is free will. Basic human rights. When you are able-bodied, physically able to take care of yourself, the ways to access free will seem limitless—there are plenty of things you are able to participate in, such as having a job, living on your own, and preparing your own meals. In Monica & David, novice filmmaker Alexandra Codina documents the wedding and first year of marriage between Monica and David, two adults living with Down’s syndrome.

Partir (Leaving)

David McKenzie’s Asylum is a flawed but breathtakingly compelling portrait of violent sexual obsession, deception, and mental illness. Unremittingly dark, this film also presents us with a woman who rails against the constraints placed on women in 1950s middle class Britain. Stella (Natasha Richardson) is a bored housewife who makes her home on the grounds of a mental hospital outside London.

I Want to Get Married!: One Wannabe Bride's Misadventures with Handsome Houdinis, Technicolor Grooms, Morality Police, and Other Mr. Not-Quite-Rights

The first suitor was a friend of a friend's husband. Along with his family, he came to Ghada's house. He was a doctor, she was told. Excited at the idea of finally meeting a potential husband, she washed the carpets, mopped the floor, scrubbed the stairs, and cleaned all the windows. She opened the door only to meet Mr. Not-Quite-Right, her technicolor suitor. His shirt was yellow, his pants were blue, and he was wearing purple socks with brown shoes—not to mention the green sweater.

The Romantics

Walking in to watch The Romantics, I feared it might be a movie that relies on star power to get by. Valentine’s Day is what came to mind, and even though the level of celebrity of the stars of The Romantics isn’t exactly the same (Katie Holmes and Anna Paquin aren’t quite Julia Roberts and Jessica Alba), I was nonetheless worried.

Adrift (Choi Voi)

At last year's Venice Film Festival, Adrift won the FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Prize. With its lush scenery, layered characters, and startling soundtrack, it’s not hard to see why the film stood out to an international panel of jurors. The film is in Vietnamese with English subtitles and is set in various Vietnamese locales, including Hanoi, Quang Ninh, and Hoi An. Jam-packed streets filled with tiny tuk-tuks and motorcycles are juxtaposed with lonely, gorgeous beach campfires at sunset.

Whom Not to Marry: Time-Tested Advice from a Higher Authority

After reading Whom Not to Marry by Father Pat Connor, a Catholic priest, I contemplated the different ways to approach this review. I could discuss the practical aspects of this book, but Maureen Dowd already addressed this in a July 6, 2008 op-ed in the New York Times.

If You Like It Then You Should Be Able to Put A Ring On It

Adorable, DIY-style animation and quirky music start off this excellent and important film about marriage equality in Ireland. Cara Holmes and Ciara Kennedy cut and paste stories, images, protests, and facts into a clever, witty, and purposeful narrative. Voice-overs and interviews are illustrated and screened, intercut or overlaid upon footage from rallies, photo montages, and title cards (which have a very on-trend hand-drawn look). These touches make the film more accessible and adhere to the filmmakers’ established aesthetic.

I Am Love

The story is simple—and familiar, at least to feminists: years after being plucked from her home, stripped of her individuality, and thrust into a loveless marriage, a woman is shocked back to life and inspired to flee. But from A Doll's House to Titanic, it's not so much about the story itself as it is about how it's told.

Le Code a Changé

The French comedy of manners conjures up for me, an Anglophone, a bitchy Restoration drama rather than Molière. Jean Renoir’s heavy 1939 film The Rules of the Game, the iconic update of the genre, greatly dilutes the comic elements. Now, Le Code a Changé (Change of Plans) offers a lighter brew with only a dash of melancholy.

Half Life

Love stories aren’t really my thing, but Roopa Farooki’s newest novel, Half Life, shows many shades of love in a way that warms the heart, wets the eye, and expands the mind. The book opens with Aruna Ahmed Jones’ seemingly crazy and impulsive decision to leave her year-old marriage.

Falling Apart In One Piece: One Optimist’s Journey Through the Hell of Divorce

I’m one of the many women who have been through divorce so I picked up Stacy Morrison’s memoir Falling Apart in One Piece, about her divorce, with interest. Because few of my friends and family members have experienced divorce, it’s been one long lonely road for me. How do people deal with the guilt? I’ve wondered.

Women Without Men

The story of director Shirin Neshat is almost as compelling as her first feature. Born in religiously conservative Qazvin, Iran, Neshat has been using visual art to explore gender relations under Islam for nearly two decades, traveling back and forth between the States and Iran to enrich her perspective. But because her work has been so politically outspoken, Neshat has been exiled from her native country since 1996.

Entangling Alliances: Foreign War Brides and American Soldiers in the Twentieth Century

When men are shipped out to foreign locations to engage in wartime activities, it seems inevitable that they will become romantically and sexually involved with foreign women. In Entangling Alliances, Susan Zeiger explores this phenomenon, examining governmental, military, and societal responses to American soldiers’ desires for sex, companionship, and marriage while engaged in combat overseas.

The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl is like a multilayered Flemish painting or tapestry. On the surface, it’s the story of the marriage of two painters, Clara and Einar. However, Einar Wegener was the first male to undergo successful gender affirming surgery.

Savor the Moment

Sometimes when I finish a book, I can't help but feel that the experience has made me better in some way. Maybe that sounds really cheesy, but it's true. That's one of my favorite things about reading great classic literature: it just leaves you awestruck.

MILK (5/1/2010)

Emily DeVoti’s provocative two-act play, MILK, opens in a spare farmhouse kitchen. It’s 1984. Ronald Reagan has just been elected US president and local newscasters seem to have nothing good to report. Meg (played by Jordan Baker), a former mathematician who loves precision and order, and her husband Ben (Jon Krupp), a former investigative reporter, are sitting at the table and talking, but it’s the kind of tense conversation that can quickly turn from controlled anger to fierce argument. Things are bad, very bad.

How to Get Divorced by 30: My Misguided Attempt at a Starter Marriage

It’s not like someone would seek out this book looking to find advice on how to damage their marriage, but it definitely piques the curiosity of anyone trying to understand how easily a marriage can go awry. How to Get Divorced by 30 is Sascha Rothchild’s personal tale of her short-lived marriage. Surprisingly, it’s not a man-bashing book picking on her ex-husband (some of his faults are mentioned, but not focused upon).

How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly

The title of Connie May Fowler’s novel How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly comes close to saying it all. It is the story of a thirty-five-year-old woman’s inner struggle for independence and self-acceptance, which she slowly succeeds at achieving over the course of one single day—the summer solstice of 2006. The novel takes place in the hot, sticky forests and savannas of northern Florida, and it starts as one imagines the weather might feel.


A retread of Anne Fontaine’s 2003 film, Nathalie, I walked out of the theater feeling rather disappointed with Chloe. Julianne Moore plays Catherine Stewart, a successful gynecologist who is married to a college professor named David (Liam Neeson).

Our Family Wedding

Welcome to the new post-racial America, where at long last African Americans and Latinos can star together in a major studio movie every bit as crappy as anything White people have ever done. Our Family Wedding is...

One Summer in New Paltz: A Cautionary Tale

In the wake of a failing U.S. economy and two unwarranted wars, former president Bush set out to condemn the gay community as he called for a constitutional amendment to reduce gay rights. Facing reelection, the president’s call to enshrine a heterosexual definition of marriage into the Constitution effectively diverted attention away from his failures and used the gay community as a convenient scapegoat. But Bush’s move did more than spark nationwide debate.

Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage

Since I am apparently one of the only women between the ages of twenty-five and seventy-five who hasn’t read Eat, Pray, Love, I was delightfully surprised by Elizabeth Gilbert's latest work, Committed. Gilbert's engaging prose and witty, se

Elizabeth Gilbert (01/25/2010)

I fell in love with Elizabeth Gilbert’s smart, poetic, humorous and utterly authentic voice while reading Eat, Pray, Love.

Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession

Julie Powell wrote a blog called the Julie/Julia Project, which was turned into a book entitled Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, and last summer Julie & Julia hit the big screen as a movie featuring Meryl Streep.

Wherever There's a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California

On June 16th, 2008 Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin made headlines as the first same-sex couple legally married in the state of California. The couple, who first met in the ‘50s, spent the majority of their adult lives advocating for equal rights for homosexual couples and lived to see their goal realized. Although Californians have fought the battle for same-sex marriage most visibly in the past ten years, activists such as Lyon and Martin have been addressing the issue of discrimination against homosexuals in California for several decades.