One of this week's most popular New York Times articles is about new census data revealing that more women are becoming the breadwinners in American families. Titled "More Men Marrying Wealthier," the report states that more women have college degrees than men today, and that with so many men laid off during the present recession, the households in which only the wife/mother works is significantly higher than it was even a year ago. Sounds like ripe fodder for a new romantic comedy titled...

Mrs. Breadwinner

The title, inspired by Mr. Mom, is just a generic place holder for what should be a few movies reflecting this change in society and gender politics. Back during the Great Depression, when similar role reversals were taking place in real life, Hollywood made a number of films featuring a wealthy woman marrying or at least falling for a lesser-status man. Platinum Blonde, Broadway Bill, My Man Godfrey, The Thin Man and others dealt with this situation, though most of these films then and since (Mr. Mom, Overboard, Coming to America, Titanic) have ended with the man rising in status, revealed to be more well-off than thought, returning to his own kind by ultimately marrying a more socially equal partner or dying. Or, the woman gives up her wealth for the poor guy.
Since the women's rights movement it hasn't been that much different in the movies, either. Maybe the female characters have risen in status, employment and financial freedom, but rarely are they sole breadwinners in the end. Even in the recent movie The Proposal, what begins as a romance between a woman and her male employee promises to be more level in the end. Yet the popularity of The Proposal and it's initial imbalance could serve as a stepping stone to a romantic comedy in which the female lead remains successful and well-paid, while the male lead continues to have the lesser income or even be unemployed.

Certainly the drama would still surround the issue men have with needing to be the breadwinner to feel like real men, yet the modern twist would be the understanding that a man can still be a man with a wife who makes more than him. The sad thing is, even with actual society moving this way, it's hard to imagine studios being so progressive and latching onto this concept.

As for me, I'm totally down with the idea. As a low-income movie blogger with no health insurance, I'm all for marrying up. So, if there are any rich women out there looking for a poor movie geek to wed, comment below. Maybe once we're settled down, we can write a movie about our not-so-crazy-anymore love.
categories Cinematical