Good Marriage, A (1982)

Rohmer’s second ‘Comedies & Proverbs’ film is one of his more straightforward affairs as it dissects with nuance why some people are obsessed with marriage, while others are simply disinterested.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Dir. Eric Rohmer
1982 | France | Comedy/Drama/Romance | 95 mins | 1.33:1 | French
Not rated – likely to be M18 for sexual scene and nudity

Cast: Beatrice Romand, Andre Dussollier, Arielle Dombasle
Plot: Art student Sabine tires of her free and easy single lifestyle and decides she wants to get married. At a wedding reception she meets the suitable and dashing Edmond, and engineers a romance for the most part in her own head, as he is not exactly on board.
Awards: Won Best Actress & Nom. for Golden Lion (Venice)
Source: Les Films du Losange

Accessibility Index
Subject Matter: Moderate – Relationships, Marriage
Narrative Style: Straightforward
Pace: Normal
Audience Type: Slightly Arthouse

Viewed: MUBI
Spoilers: No

I’m really starting to dig Eric Rohmer.  There is so much truth and honesty to his work and characters, despite the deceptively simple setups and seemingly plotless narratives. 

A follow-up to The Aviator’s Wife (1981), and the second film in his ‘Comedies & Proverbs’ series, A Good Marriage may be one of his more straightforward affairs, but it is still a worthy watch. 

There is quite a fair bit to glean from its story of Sabine (Beatrice Romand in a Venice Best Actress performance), a young woman who decides to stop sleeping with married men, and intends to get married herself. 

The problem?  She hasn’t found a suitor yet, until a likely prospect, Edmond, the cousin of a good friend, pops into her radar. Edmond, a busy lawyer, is not interested in a relationship, let alone marriage, but Sabine insists on ‘seducing’ him. 

It is a light-hearted effort, as most Rohmer pictures are, but A Good Marriage makes several nuanced points about the institution of marriage, particularly why some people are obsessed with it, while others are simply disinterested. 

What is a good marriage—is it one borne out of love or necessity?  What does it mean to marry someone else?  Why are we socialised to believe in marriage? 

These are questions I’ve been grappling with on a daily basis, considering I’m seeing many of my friends starting to get hitched.  Do I ever want to get married?  If it makes sense, then yes; if not, there is a lot to treasure in the freedom to lead one’s own life, without the obstacle of someone else in the way. 

Grade: B+




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