Take My Wife, Please: Nepotism and Hollywood

Categories: Film

Let us all gather ‘round (and bring your spouses, by the way) and praise nepotism. Last year was truly a golden age for it in Hollywood. You’ll remember that Leslie Mann (Judd Apatow’s wife) landed a plum role in his Knocked Up; Helena Bonham Carter (Tim Burton’s lady) nailed the coveted role of Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, supposedly to composer Sondheim’s delight; and Jennifer Jason Leigh (Noah Baumbach’s wife) somehow seemed perfectly suited to a key part in Margot at the Wedding. But guess what? None of these ladies embarrassed themselves and some people—even some not related to them—would say they soared. Mann—who I detested ever since her publicist once strangely had me sign something saying I couldn’t talk about her on TV—was delightful in a Judy Hollidayesque way. Carter, while hardly Maria Callas, had some fun with her role, serving up lots of eye makeup and eye rolling. And Jason Leigh was brilliant as usual in a film that should not have been spat upon so heavily. So attention, auteurs. Hire your wives! Come on, Don Gummer. Use Meryl as a sculpting subject!

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