I couldn’t decide if it was misogynistic or not—then I decided it was probably just misanthropic?
It’s so strange. The male character is a Noel Coward “type”—he’s an upper class absurdly witty English writer. As such, there are inevitable queer rings in his character. Then, we get his two wives, the dead Elvira and the living Ruth—neither of whom he seems to care for very much? Then he gets all excited at the prospect of them leaving him alone forever, and then once they’re both ghosts they kill him?
It presents this very bleak vision of life in which the only way for queer men to be free is to banish women to the spirit world with the help of this REALLY GREAT queen medium character, and in which ultimately all romantic interaction is just witty sniping at your spouse about how shitty the honeymoon they picked out was and how ugly the new curtains are. It’s witty sniping, sure, and maybe it’s the kind of idea that Kazuo Ishiguro puts forth in Remains of the Day that in banter lies the key to human warmth, but I DON’T HAVE ANSWERS, MAN, I’M TWENTY, and it still seems like a pretty brutal way to live.
I will probably write more about this; in the meantime here are some pictures of Madame Arcati, who is the best character in the movie:
Rex Harrison is hot in this, is the other thing.