Nicole Kidman is getting married today to Keith Urban. The wedding should be starting in a couple of hours as they are planning to have it at night and it's 4pm at the moment and it gets dark a bit before 6 here, in Sydney it's probably a bit later. But, anyway, as a celebration of Nicole's wedding day I though I would rate Nicole's role as a wife... in the movie's, of course.
(Warning - Spoilers Within)
The Others (2001, dir. Amenabar)
From the outside, it would appear that Nicole's character of Grace is a great wife. She protects her husband's children as if their life depended on it (er, it does with all the sensitivity to light and all) and the fierce devotion to her husband who is currently at war. But as the film progresses we learn that she ain't that good at all. When her (as we later realise) dead husband (Christopher Eccleston) returns from the war we realise that she is clingy and cold - why else would he go back to the battle (er, that and he's dead). And then we discover that she murdered the children! What sort of wife and mother shoots her own children? But still, she gets points for remaining in the house with the lil tots and taking care of them forever (and ever). And she seemed more than willing to have sex with her shell-shocked husband!
On the Marriage Scale she rates a 1.5
The Stepford Wives (2004, dir. Oz)
Well, this one is two-fold! When she's the brunette TV executive at the start, she's well driven but in terms of wife-material she ain't getting a passing grade. She neglects her husband's (Matthew Broderick) needs and doesn't even realise that he, being a man, needs to feel like he's worth something (which he isn't). And then she decides to pull one over her husband by pretending to be a "Stepford Wife" all so she can expose the secret of the community that accepted her husband and made him feel like he had a place in the world for the first time in ages.
On the Marriage Scale she rates a 2
Birthday Girl (2001, dir. Butterworth)
Oh lordy! Nicole's Russian male-order bride isn't exactly the thing dreams are made of. First she can't speak English and then she embroils her husband (Ben Chaplin) in a bank robbery scheme involving her two friends (or brothers? I can't remember. I was too busy staring at Vincent Cassell and Mathieu Kassovitz thank you very much) which turns her husband's life upside down. However, she does end up teaching her husband some stuff and he comes out of his shell, so really it wasn't all bad.
On the Marriage Scale she rates a 2.5
The Hours (2002, dir. Daldry)
So... Virginia Woolf treats her husband like crap, leaves the house without mentioning it, confines herself to her room and then kills herself! Normally that wouldn't be much to praise about, but she effectively helped her husband live a great life and she probably really did love him.
On the Marriage Scale she rates a 2.5
Birth (2004, dir. Glazer)
Hmm... was she a good wife or wasn't she? She definitely loved him! But then we realise that he didn't love her (or, not as much as she did) because he had an affair with Anne Heche (of all people). She mourns over him for years and years before finally deciding it's time to remarry. She proves her wifely worth though when the appearance of her husband's apparent reincarnation in the form of a 12-year-old boy. After initial hesitation she quickly realises she's still in love with her husband (now played by Cameron Bright) and that if the little boy is her husband then she has no choice but to be in love with him, even going so far as organise running away together so they can get married when he turns 18. Of course, we all know it goes pear-shaped, but that's not the issue.
At the end of the movie she flips out on new husband Danny Huston at the beach, for reasons we are left to ponder (I believe it's because of her still obvious feelings for her dead husband), but she was obviously doing something wrong initially to make him cheat and give his affair partner all her old love letters.
On the Marriage Scale she rates a 3.5
Eyes Wide Shut (1999, dir. Kubrick)
This is an interesting case. She willingly flirts with other men, but so does her husband (Tom Cruise). She smokes pot, but so does her husband. She lectures her husband on the intricities of marraige, but her husband sorta needs it. Inbetween all the drug-infused arguments there are small moments when you see these two love each other, such as the glance upwards while she helps their daughter with her homework (my favourite moment in the film). Thankfully, he comes off as a much worse husband than she does a bad wife. These two characters seem made for each other.
On the Marriage Scale she rates a 3
To Die For (1995, dir. Van Sant)
Oooh, now here is a doozy. What a wicked little witch, this bitch is eh? Not only does she marry for money (Matt Dillon), but then in her ever-present desire for fame, she enlists three teenagers (one of whom she ends up bonking, thank you!) to kill her husband. She uses her husband's death as a platford for more fame and money and won't stop until she gets what she wants. Her ultimate downfall is this very need for fame and she meets her timely end underneath an ice-skating rink.
On the Marriage Scale she rates a 0
That bitch was stone cold.
er, good luck Keith! Hope it all works out.
(just kidding, all the best Nicole - i know you read this - thankfully Keith doesn't appear to be a loon!)