Arts & Entertainment

How To Be A Good Wife

This charming and easy viewing comedy from France is a film Aussie husbands may want to take their wives to watch!

Set in 1968, when there were over 1000 housekeeping schools throughout France, parents would send their teenage daughters to these institutions where they were trained to be ideal homemakers for future husbands perfecting in skills such as ironing and cooking.

Juliette Binoche stars as Paulette Van Der Beck. She and her husband run the ‘Van Der Beck’s School of Housekeeping and Good Manners’ which is facing financial ruin. Enter her ex-lover Andre (Edouard Baer). Is he intent on rekindling their romance?

Underneath the humour, the romantic interludes and comedic scenarios, universally topical themes of that era arise. Is the ‘good wife’ regarded as a slave and should she be under a man’s thumb? Should a woman be forced to marry a man she doesn’t love and is marriage like tying a knot around your neck?

The film faulters in the final sequence as an unpredictable and gratuitous musical number resonating the importance of equality and freedom leaves unsuspecting audiences perplexed. (MMo)

★★★

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