Marriages Are All Right

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While I understand the point that Halberstam is making, I actually find myself starkly in disagreement with his reading of the film as a non-progressive and conservative representation of homosexual marriages. While there were several tinier points within the article I found myself able to agree with (the occasional but in my opinion not overt racism for instance) I would argue that if the director had intended to make a "conservative" film, we wouldn't have just watched a film about two lesbians in leading roles. If these had been a "conservative" film we probably would have watched a Hollywood iteration of the perennial heterosexual relationship a la "Crazy, Stupid Love." But rather, this film touches on situations, characters and narratives that are by no means conservative.
I believe Halberstam's biggest critique of the film stems from the relationship between Jules and Nic, and how their relationship is represented throughout the film. It is my contention that Halberstam is less concerned with the health of the marriage between these two women and far more incensed by the fact that they are married. I think that his arguments are flawed because he assumes that marriage is an inferior structure, and that because this film portrays a marriage (while providing authenticity to the best of its ability), the film is somehow blasphemous to LGBT rights, feminism and the art of film making. What the author fails to recognize is that the film more than likely provides a picture of marriage that couples from every walk of life will relate to and sympathize with. The author suggests that if the film had gone out of its way to provide a harsh look at marriage and how marriages will always fail, that that would be an acceptable version of the film. My question is why? Why must a film about lesbian moms inauthenticate the validity of marriage in order to not be deemed conservative? Isn't the statement "two women can endure the hardships of growing older and the challenge of infidelity and through it all live to love one another" a more optimistic testimonial to queer relationships? I get the sense the Halberstam would not be satisfied unless the film was: a non-linear portrait of two women renouncing the plight of marriage in lieu of nomadic 'fuck the system' communal family structures, tied together with a Shakespearean 'everybody-dies-in-the-end' finale.

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I think that Halberstam was disappointed that a film about two lesbians would have to be portrayed in a way that they are a married couple, with all the normal married couple problems, and "just like everyone else." While marriage isn't necessarily a bad thing, it is pushed so hard in our culture already, so it is disappointing to see yet another movie that seems to be preaching the value of marriage and assimilation. I do agree, however, that it would probably be difficult to please Halberstam with a movie like this, because it seems like no matter how good a movie is, there are always things to critique about it.

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This page contains a single entry by mill5609 published on February 22, 2012 10:36 AM.

The Kids aren't alright was the previous entry in this blog.

Halberstam - The Kids Aren't Alright is the next entry in this blog.

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