Are Straight Couples O.K.?

Are Straight Couples O.K.?

Update: 2023-10-19
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Throughout film history, heterosexual relationships have served as a battleground for questions of sex, power, and equality. From the 1949 screwball comedy “Adam’s Rib,” in which a husband and wife’s careers become a source of conflict, to the 1979 legal drama “Kramer vs. Kramer,” which reflected new cultural attitudes about divorce, fictional couples have long been tasked with working through the biggest social issues of the day. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, a different dynamic has emerged onscreen—one in which the woman holds the reins of the relationship. On this episode of Critics at Large, the staff writers Vinson Cunningham, Naomi Fry, and Alexandra Schwartz discuss two new films in which traditional gender roles are flipped: Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall,” which won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and “Fair Play,” the début feature from the director Chloe Domont, now streaming on Netflix. The hosts consider the rise of the “good bad man”: a well-intentioned partner whose feminist politics collapse when real power is at stake. “This is a moment when people say they want equality, and they may even feel that they want equality,” Schwartz says. “But there is some kind of cultural consensus that men are not really able to do it, because they keep getting slammed in movies like this.”

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Are Straight Couples O.K.?

Are Straight Couples O.K.?

The New Yorker