This week I will be on my honeymoon. I’m trusting Daniel to fill-in with some content this week, but it might be relatively light posting for a few days. To kick off the week, I figured I’d share an appropriate list I compiled a while back for my wedding’s website. I guess it was a little gloomy for the venue, but it’s so much easier to find bad honeymoons than good ones in the movies. They make for better stories, I guess. Still, I hope my own is drama free, as well as bomb free, murder free, and lacking in all the following bad times.
Tonight Jen and I watched “Niagara,” the 1953 technicolor film noir that features Marilyn Monroe in one of her first major sex symbol roles. The plot also involves a non-newlywed couple (Max Showalter — then credited as Casey Adams — and Jean Peters) on a late honeymoon to Niagara Falls, where the husband also has some interest in the nearby headquarters of his cereal company employer.
Bringing your bride on a trip that’s as much business as pleasure is bad enough, but the man’s romantic shortcomings aren’t the worst of their stay. Without spoiling too much, Peters’ character ends up kidnapped and near death on the edge of the falls. As Jen noted during the climax, “worst honeymoon ever.”
Perhaps, though there have been a number of bad honeymoon situations in the movies. Here’s a list of ten that I can recall:
1. “Touch of Evil” – “Even on his honeymoon, the chairman of the Pan-American Narcotics Commission has a sacred duty to perform,” says Janet Leigh as the new wife of Mexican Charlton Heston in Orson Welles’ 1958 classic. This is a similar case of the groom being too involved with his work while the bride is kidnapped, though here she’s also drugged then framed for murder and arrested, all thanks to who her hubby is. Interestingly enough, like Niagara this also features Joseph Cotten.
2. “Marnie” – Yes, indeed, Sean Connery rapes his frigid bride (Tippie Hedren) on their honeymoon cruise in this campy Hitchcock film from 1964.
3. “Along Came Polly” – Ben Stiller begins this 2004 comedy getting married to Debra Messing, but the union is very short, as the bride immediately is caught cheating with a scuba instructor (Hank Azaria) while the couple is on their honeymoon.
4. “The Heartbreak Kid” – Speaking of Stiller, he’s also in the remake of this 1972 comedy about a groom (Charles Grodin) who discovers he’s made a huge mistake and falls for someone else during his honeymoon. I think Stiller’s version, though, makes more of a point to show just how surprisingly annoying and ill-matched the bride (Malin Ackerman) is, undiscovered as such until the pair is wed and on route.
5. “The Long, Long Trailer” – A nice pun on the idea of getting hitched, this 1953 Vincente Minnelli comedy stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as a married couple spending their post-nuptial vacation on the road with a trailer home. The honeymoon on wheels is hardly romantic in the first place, but things keep going wrong for Ball, mainly as a result of uneven terrain, particularly sloped roads, as the couple drives up into the Sierra Nevada mountains.
6. “My Favorite Wife” – How about a honeymoon on which you find out you’re not really technically married, because the first wife (Irene Dunne) of your groom (Cary Grant) turns up out of the blue, after long thought to be dead? That’s what happens to Gail Patrick in this 1940 screwball comedy.
7. “Zombie Honeymoon” – The title says it all, I think.
8. “A Perfect Getaway” – Without giving too much away, this recent thriller involves stories of newlyweds on honeymoon in Hawaii who are killed and left unidentifiable — their teeth and fingerprints removed by their murderer(s).
9. “Just Married” – Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy recall their disastrous honeymoon, in which one “hilariously” bad thing happens after another leading to the couple being jailed before returning home and breaking up.
10. “The Poseidon Adventure” – Finally, I’m including a couple on their second honeymoon, because this terrible and tragic situation can’t be ignored. Ernest Borgnine is the detective with his former-prostitute wife (Stella Stevens) who are among the passengers on a capsized ship.
Because Jen thinks this list is a bit of a downer, and I agree that even the comedies here are kind of depressing to think about as we plan our wedding and honeymoon, I’d like to say that I believe our own experience will be happy and loving and everything that these ten examples are not.