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Now Playing at the Savoy Theater
Part of me thinks that Hollywood marriages are bogus.
It seems like nearly all celebrity marriages end in divorce.
I wonder if movie stars even say “‘til death do us part” as part of their vows anymore. Surely they are aware that the union is more likely to end with a call to a lawyer and a fight to see who gets to keep the mansion in Santa Monica.
I think that some celebrities get married entirely for the publicity. I’ll bet Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were sitting around one day and Justin said:
“Your career hasn’t been going so great since ‘7th Heaven’ and people don’t seem to want to buy my mediocre pop dance songs anymore. Let’s get married. That’ll get us the cover of US Weekly for sure!”
But after watching “Hitchcock,” I’m starting to think that I’ve been too cynical.
“Hitchcock” follows a few challenging months in the life of famed director Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife/collaborator Alma Reville (Helen Mirren). The movie shows us that showbiz marriages are challenging.
For starters, there are more opportunities to cheat. Being away from your spouse on a movie set is a serious test of fidelity. There are plenty of ambitious actresses who are ready to hook up with someone in order to get ahead. Even an obese old Englishman like Alfred Hitchcock could have scored in exchange for a promise to put the girl in his next film.
Secondly, Hollywood is a place where people care about their careers above all else. And careers can explode or fizzle out unexpectedly.
When Hitchcock met Alma in the 1920s, she was already an established player in the London film industry and he was an unknown rookie. By 1960, when “Hitchcock” takes place, Alfred is a living legend and Alma is hardly famous at all. This type of dramatic balance of power shift is not something that non-showbiz couples have to deal with and it can definitely cause strife and hurt feelings.
“Hitchcock” shows us how Alma almost broke up the marriage by spending time alone with a dashing writer who needed her help on a screenplay. Alma wasn’t particularly interested in sleeping with the writer, but she was desperate for the type of recognition and ego boost that Alfred took for granted.
“Hitchcock” is not a great drama. Anthony Hopkins’s Hitchcock is too bland and lovable. I figure that the real Alfred Hitchcock was a little more creepy and disturbed based on his messed up movies.
However, I do recommend it. “Hitchcock” is a short, entertaining, upbeat film about one of the few Hollywood marriages that actually lasted.
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