Slate Money Goes to the Movies: Sense and Sensibility

Listen to this episode

S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership. Hello and welcome to the Sense and Sensibility episode of Slate when he goes to the movies, we have me Felix Salmon of Axios, we have Emily Peck of Fundrise Bullo. Most excitingly, we have Taffy Brodesser-Akner of so many different places and affiliations. I don’t even know how to introduce you anymore. Taffy introduce yourself.

S2: I am a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine. I am the writer of Fleischman is in Trouble, coming soon ish to a television. I am a member at Congregation Beth Al and you know,

Advertisement

S1: an all around fabulous, awesome friend of the part. We do ask people to suggest movies for this show and you you did pull a Taffy and force us to watch too.

S2: But then you pulled a Felix and called this the sense and sensibility addition

S1: since the sense when really addition. But yeah, I have to say, it got hijacked a little by a terrible movie which we are about to reveal. The other terrible movie that you made us watch in conjunction with Sense and Sensibility. So we’re going to compare a good movie with a bad movie coming up on Slate. Money goes to the movies.

S3: Go ahead, apologize to Felix.

S2: I’m very, very sorry that we had to watch this, but I stand by it. It’s my point.

Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: OK, so Taffy just to be clear, you are not apologizing for making me watch the Angley masterpiece Sense and Sensibility.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: I’m not I am not apologizing for making you watch the Angley masterpiece Sense and Sensibility. I am apologizing for the inevitability of having to watch Made in Manhattan as its companion and Taffy.

S3: We have to explain this to me because I do not master that and

S1: I do not understand how maid in Manhattan, which I believe I honestly in my heart of hearts, believe is the worst movie I have ever seen in my life. I do not understand

S2: come now

S1: how this is in any way connected to Angliss masterpiece sense and Sensibility.

Advertisement

S2: Well, you don’t see any. You don’t see them.

S3: Come on,

S2: there’s nothing there.

S1: OK, I am a bear of very little brain Taffy Felix

S2: to the manor born. The theme is marrying up. The theme is trying to maintain your dignity as you find a strata in the world that you aspire to. Does that is a coming together. Oh, you’re still together? Well, not for Felix.

S1: You might need to spell this out for me, but let’s try and start with sense and sensibility, because, number one, it’s not actually a good movie. And number two, if anyone understood economic relations between men and women, I’m going to say it’s more likely to have been Jane Austen and Emma Thompson than like Jaylo and whoever wrote.

Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: Wait a second. Wait a

S2: second. Incorrect. I think your snobbery is very

S1: British

S2: revolution. I don’t know. Have you not been on Twitter long enough to know that like that actually taste is flat. They’re the same movie. They are the same movie. They are both

S1: work

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: with. They are both about women who desperately want to keep their dignity but have no money. They desperately want advancement and shelter and dignity and also to marry somebody very wealthy and get ahead in this crazy society. That’s what they are both about. And the point of both of them, other than their disparate quality, is that it doesn’t ever change, that it doesn’t ever change for women. The nature of poverty doesn’t change. It doesn’t change. If you are a fatherless child who is living in a 12 bedroom cottage that would go for three million dollars in Montclair right now, but is considered it like none of it matters. It is all about what you feel you can tolerate and about how low you can be and how high you can dream. And in those cases, in both of those cases, we, the American viewing public and especially the young women of the American viewing public, are encouraged a route of love which will be a forgivable way of finding. A wealthy husband, and that is a message that was transmitted to me and to us my whole life and my like Felix your face is still as like you accidentally watched a different movie. Emily is anything I’m saying resounding in your ears?

Advertisement

S3: Taffy. Yes, both movies are about poor women trying to, like you said, marry up,

S2: become solvent by marrying up, not just marrying not gold diggers, because there are gold diggers in these movies and they are not righteous, they are not considered the righteous ones because they already have some money. It’s only when you’re really poor that falling in love with a man and then refusing his love on the basis of your dignity allows you to enter into the echelon of wealth where you got to be happy, right?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: I mean, now I’m beginning to not now. I think you’ve put your your finger on the Venn overlap here is that they both have the this idea that the righteous woman refuses love on the basis of dignity. That’s like a little bit of a subtext. I do not buy, by the way, this idea that our young heroines of sense and sensibility are poor, not just because they live in the cottage that would cost three million dollars and Moncler, but mainly because they are down to their last two servants like that. There is like an actual level of poverty that is just a little bit visible below them. And so it’s actually off screen that we hear about the benighted female who we’ve never really Eliza, I think is a name who gets impregnated by the dastardly bad man. And then but she she never appears on screen. And then she goes off and has a baby. And it’s a terrible outcome. There’s a layer below the layer of righteousness for sure.

Advertisement

S2: But it’s not just about poverty. It’s about the acceptable and the level of tolerance in the acceptable meaning. Those women were just as impoverished as Jaylo is in the Bronx, trying to get to the management level at the hotel where she is a maid. And the reason for that is because of the way their society is set up and sense and sensibility. Those women are rejected because they have no dowry and they’re too rich to drop to the next level. Right.

S3: It’s a movie about class as much as it is about like money circumstances. Yes. These women don’t have as they didn’t inherit their father’s wealth. That comes down to the problem with in England. Back then, the rule was if you died and you passed on your estate, it went to the firstborn son. Everyone else is kind of out of luck. So these women, the plot of sense and sensibility, these three daughters and the mother, because she’s the second wife, get nothing. They get what is three hundred pounds a month or a year or a year, a small stipends and a cottage that obviously looks incredible. And they say that they have to get rid of all their servants, but for only two. So it’s really hard for them. OK, but I mean, the message is really I think it’s like this like 90s feminism where Emma Thompson acknowledges these women are utterly powerless. Like in the beginning, the oldest, played by Emma Thompson, says to her love interest, you will inherit your fortune. We can’t even earn ours like they can’t inherit money. They’re not allowed to make any money because if they went and worked, they would drop out of their class, which confers on them the servants and stuff. So they’re in complete like they’re completely powerless, these women. And the only option they have is this weird tightrope where they have to fall into noble love, only noble love that can’t be gold diggers because that’s bad, even though what they’re doing is the same thing and it’s just a matter of judgement and they can’t work.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S4: You talk of feeling idle and useless. Now that is compounded when one has no hope and no choice of any occupation whatsoever. Our circumstances are therefore precisely the same. Except that you will inherit your fortune. We cannot even on Oz, but Margaret is right, right. Piracy is our only option. What is swabbing inside,

S3: and that’s where my quibble with the parallelism made in Manhattan is because Manhattan is the early 2000s and we just don’t have enough information about those characters circumstances in the Bronx to see that she is at the same level of powerlessness. Like you have to use all your outside knowledge about the Bronx in the year 2000, while also believing that Jaylo can be a maid in a hotel in Manhattan and disappear and become invisible to me. That is the inherent flaw with this movie, is

Advertisement

S2: Gaoler think that she probably couldn’t clean anything if she tried,

S3: she could clean everything, but she can’t be invisible. There’s a line like you are maids in this hotel. No one must notice you. And it’s like nothing

S2: in the movie makes sense. Like people enter, like she can just come in and start, like doing up the room as opposed to what actually happens, which is that she waits until you’re done or she waits until you’re out or someone even at the really highest level of staying at a New York hotel. The front desk guy calls housekeeping. As soon as the person walks out and says, now go up, none of it makes sense.

Advertisement

S3: I’m just saying it’s not clear to me that Jaylo is so powerless that she needs to marry Ralph Fynes, who is like the blandest piece of

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: me because he’s so damn like such a bad, bad love interest. And yet but Taffy don’t think this is all set at the Waldorf Astoria, but they had to change the name of the Waldorf because obviously the Waldorf is like we would never have our

S2: maids would never try on your clothing while you weren’t there. I mean, it’s also true she behaves incredibly unethically. Like trying on somebody’s clothing is is not a great thing.

S3: But it wasn’t her clothing. It was I was going back to the store. So it was a I think it was a gray area. Taffy Felix to use the area. I shouldn’t have worn it out to the park and walked the 20 blocks somehow without sweating or anything, anything, anything in her white outfit, which was also, I suppose not realistic, but it is Jaylo and I can kind of believe she can run 10 miles. And still, I believe

Advertisement

S2: she prefers that to this in her white

S3: pantsuit there.

S4: Six years, six Zulay doing when shoes, shoes size nine. Perfect. I’m a seven and a half, which means, you know, just want some chips. Are you good to go. That’s it. Put this stuff back. What are you doing. Not to try not I can’t try on her clothes. They’re not hers. They’re not always technically been abandoned. The clothes having a reunion tour. When are you ever going to get to try on a five thousand dollar anything. Come on. Feel how the other half feels, huh.

S3: So I don’t remember my point because we’re linking Sense and sensibility by Angley to and starring Gaoler and too hard. I mean, I don’t understand.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: I can’t believe we’re still on. How are these two apparent now? We have to we get stuck apparently are preparing.

S1: OK, I will come in and rescue Emily from the point that shiogama, which was basically that the genius of the first scene of sense and sensibility and the fact that it’s so clearly set in sort of costume drama, vill of late 18th century England, is that we totally understand the sort of broad mores of the society that we’re looking at. As Emily says, Emma Thompson hammers this home with this very kind of, how do you say, a 20th century line about I can’t even make my own living true? It’s true. And yeah, but it’s not like something that anyone would have ever said in seventeen ninety five. And so we get it’s very clear to us what the parameters of possibility and in made in Manhattan, by contrast, we’re always kind of wondering to ourselves like why is this incredibly sort of beautiful and accomplished and intelligent woman what a working is made in the first place and b like being so reluctant to rise up through management and all the rest of it? Why can’t she be Natasha Richardson in a successful magazine like so anyway? But I really don’t talk about Made in Manhattan because it’s a terrible movie. And there is there is a more interesting question here, which is like the basic kind of capitalist reading of sense and sensibility and Taffy. You did us all the incredible favor in season one of this series explaining the fact that you can see every Hollywood movie basically through this lens of money is dirty and the pure. The thing is to abjure it and then you you’ve also just really picked out this this sort of corollary to that, which is that making money by falling in love with a rich man is not dirty. But you have to do it in the sort of right noble way. And if you marry a rich man without being nobly in love with him, then that’s very bad.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: It is very bad. And I would caution you that during the first season, what did we watch? We watched Indecent Proposal. I would like to know if the panel here is suggesting that Indecent Proposal is a better movie than made in Manhattan. You know, I have a degree in film and television. This is not about like the cinema. This is about the messages. This is about how we got here in all of influencer culture right now. I see. Made in Manhattan as like a kind of jumping off point of what if you could try on the clothing and what if you could pretend to be the person. And I think that’s where a lot of this started. Made in Manhattan was a successful movie. It is a movie that is still broadcast in dry bars across this country so that as you get your hair blown out, you are being forced to watch it. And if we’re talking about Emily, that face is of someone with straight hair privilege. And I will not I mean, season three, we’ll get to straight hair in zero three. All right. But I would like to talk about like Made in Manhattan is not as skilled a movie, but it’s first scene is a woman who is trying to get her son to the next level. She’s quizzing him on. Is it is it presidential? I can’t remember.

S3: She she’s obsessed with the 70s for some reason.

S2: Right. Right. So she’s quizzing him on that. And they’re into this incredible rush because poor people in this movie are always in a rush tussling. Yeah. And she has to get there and she has to get there. And whether or not you believe that she could be an invisible maid, she is a maid and she’s very ambitious time and time. She’s told the same thing that the sisters are the Dashwood sisters are told in sense and sensibility, which is this is not for you. You don’t get to have this because this is how you were born. And that, to me, is the landing point of all of it. These movies, I saw them in the same theater. These were the messages that were transmitted to young girls who were watching these movies or who were reading books in prior centuries.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: I have so many thoughts. The first thought is the message that you can marry for money, but you have to also love is a message that seems crafted by the patriarchy, right? Like a bunch of old ugly men were like they know that that’s the only way they’re going to get a pretty young girl. But they they must be loved.

S2: They’re like, you better love us if you’re going to marry us for our money. Exactly.

S3: And then the second thing is what’s interesting to me about sense and sensibility than this movie versus the book is in the book. The love interests of the sisters kind of suck like they’re not great. They’re kind of weaselly. Hugh Grant’s character is made much more charming. And I mean, he’s Hugh Grant. So it’s not a big leap. But he’s made extremely charming. They give him that scene with a daughter early on to show, like, how great he is and like how in touch with the children. And he’s just so great. But in the book, Austen is not sugarcoating it. She’s like, look, you know, like these ladies got to marry for some money. And that’s the whole point. But in the movie Sense and Sensibility animated Manhattan, you have to believe in the fairy tale that love and the money thing go together. When we see all the time in real life, we see like these people marry Rupert Murdoch or Mick Jagger, like

S2: I love Tom Girardi.

S3: These aren’t love matches, but it’s a fantasy that Hollywood really like.

S1: So I need

S2: to ask you, what if you did fall in love with a rich man? Like, what would be so bad? What is great American women then a made falling in love with a Republican candidate for Senate? What is more romantic than that? Through the eyes of a certain desperate person who thinks that poverty would be worse than a loveless marriage, which I bet a lot of people think until they’re in a loveless marriage?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: What one thing which Ray finds has in common with Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman in sense and sensibility is that they have basically inherited wealth. No one in any of these movies really work for a living like insofar as Ray finds is rich. It’s not because he’s made lots of money being a politician. That’s because he’s the son and the grandson of senators before him. And similarly with the Austin media, you have when you come from the right kind of family and you’ve inherited the right kind of privilege. Yeah, like maybe you find a job as a lawyer or something, but really the money comes from money and it’s all inherited and that’s definitely part of it. You get that kind of thing where money gets passed down from father to son and the women have to marry into it. And Austin creates a. A sense of sort of urgency by denying the women that dowry at the beginning, which was the way that things kind of equalized a tiny bit at the time. Emma Thompson at the same time, who, by the way, if it wasn’t clear, was the woman who wrote this movie. She also makes the women much more age appropriate in the book. They’re like, well, are they like 14 and 16 or something like that? And that was just

S2: I mean, she when she shot this spread between her and her youngest sister, I have a sister I looked at younger than I am, and we don’t like that.

S3: OK, Emma Thompson was 36, Kate Winslet 20, and the younger sister, obviously much younger, and Hugh Grant was thirty five. OK, so I said, Emma Thompson, thirty six. Hugh Grant thirty five. Emma Thompson interviewed years later, said she had people coming to her and saying she was too old for Hugh Grant. She was one year older. That’s just a fun fact I’m inserting here because the age situations and these films are upset

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: and she would end up married to Alan Rickman in love, actually, and that felt appropriate.

S3: But Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet in this film not appropriate 30 year

S2: period, which is why it’s like not shocking when she’s like, oh, I’ll go with the hot guy who, like, carries me, obviously. Yeah.

S3: And then Alan Rickman can barely carry her towards the end. Also, why are people get sick from the rain. I do not understand. Is that like it’s never happened.

S2: So I mean, I’m haunted by a piece of Anna Karenina where she’s pregnant and they decide to go for a walk a few steps into the woods, but then she has to return. I mean, I think about it all the time. I do want to say that, like, both movies are extraordinarily astute about the conundrum of the poor woman of the time. Jaylo is in a management like she’s going to she’s for some reason are reluctant, like we hear how ambitious she is. But no way is she going to. So they’re logical. I mean, the movie makes no sense.

S1: They’re fine, but it is incredibly astute somehow, somewhere else.

S2: I do want to say that, like after what I have learned when I saw it at first, I have a different reaction to it now and my reaction to it now, it’s a little it’s like a sad, intense reaction of being forty five years old myself and having watched as the people I know who were middle class and who graduated from colleges and who started their careers and who maybe had enough money to do an internship and things like that, I saw those people get married and I saw their parents give them down payments for their houses, whereas my husband and I didn’t get anything like that. And I watched as they took the money, they didn’t spend on a down payment for a house and invested that money. And I watched as that money compounded itself. And I watched us sort of out at the at the end at the point where, like, can we go on this vacation? We can’t, but they can. And the amount of money that that has been doubling itself while they quietly live this what appears to be the same life as us. I came out again a degree in film and television. I came out pretty shocked about that stuff. I came out with an understanding that I don’t know Jaylo. If he doesn’t if he doesn’t make you sick, maybe go for it. Because if you really do want to get ahead for your son, we don’t know where his father is or if you had any help from him. I don’t know what like the very cynical part of me. And the reason I wanted to watch this now and with this movie is that I really do look at circumstances like that now and say, I don’t know if maybe the noble thing is not only choosing noble love, but of understanding what you want in life. And the fact that it was never fair, that there’s no management program that will get you a suite at the. What’s the name of the Walter. Yeah.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: The Berrisford or something I guess for the better transferred.

S2: I mean, I know that you guys do a money podcast and you know about the disappearing middle class longer than I do, I think by your parents. I do you I remember watching the Capitalism documentary, what’s his name, the French guy

S3: with the big

S2: book. Yeah, like the thousand page book. Yeah. And it came with a documentary for people like me. And they do this cartoon. I mean, they do this cartoon like a guy in French in why am I blanking on the word French aristocracy. Aristocracy. Thank you. How could I not bring the word aristocracy to this podcast today. And they watch as he puts five dollars in. To a Sep IRA while the other person just works and how over generations that compounds itself and I feel like part of the disappearing middle class was not the marriage message from these movies, and especially for Maid in Manhattan, but the message that you can get ahead by working and that even when you do get ahead, you won’t land at the head, only to find that everybody else is so far ahead of you that if you are bidding on the same goods, for example, you never stand a chance.

S1: So I totally buy this idea that the combination of income plus wealth is much more powerful than income on its own. And that’s definitely true. We can argue the case about whether the middle class is disappearing. But I also want to just go back to this idea of like marriage as the way to wealth, because it really is a great way to get wealthy, whether you’re a woman or a man. I mean, if you marry someone wealthy, that’s like boom, you’re wealthy. That’s like it’s the magical alchemy that. So it’s it’s a very effective way of getting rich. But one of the things that strikes me about both of these movies is that it’s not enough to just legitimately be in love with the rich man. Like at the same time your job is to. Basically sit back and have no agency and wait for the rich man to. Persuade you that even though you might not be like rich yourself, he really does genuinely want to marry you and then they go, oh, well, OK then. And I suppose if you insist.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: Right. I thought Sense and Sensibility, honestly, to me was a horror movie like these three girls had absolutely no power. They were relegated to the countryside. I know it doesn’t seem so bad to us right now, the two servants, but zero power to do anything with their lives. She’s thirty six. They’re saying she’s an old maid, completely washed up. Their only option is to find men to marry. But if they seem just anywhere on the edge of desperate about it, like the Kate Winslet character, they will be shamed and thrown out of good society like forever total fucking horror movie. Like where all of a sudden because you’re dying, OK, fine. You can marry the 50 year old man because he finally looks appealing to you. So you skate and remain honorable. Like to me this is all a total, absolute nightmare. And for Jaylo also, if her only avenue out of poverty is, she has to pretend to be in love with this like milk toast, lame dude who is a Republican but cares about people in the Bronx, I don’t even understand. But it’s just these both of these movies are just to me, like all about not really the power of wealth, but the power of men and the powerlessness of women and the little itty bitty tightrope that they were put on even while you had no there already can’t inherit any money. But even beyond that, all the morality and the ethical monitoring and all that, it’s just, my God, it’s like being in a little straitjacket and and it hasn’t really changed.

S2: They have to be the guests of these people. They’re really they’re reliant on other people’s willingness, which means they have to constantly be polite and they have to constantly be charming. And it’s terrible,

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: exhausting to constantly be polite and charming. And you can’t say what’s on your mind. Emma Thompson can’t talk about her feelings. She has to be sensible.

S1: And then she has that one scene where she’s allowed to, like, allow herself is sort of like public being upset about something.

S3: Yeah. Makes me so mad. I really got very upset watching.

S1: So here’s my question, Emily, which is I think the genius of Austin is that she really put her finger on that dynamic and she wrote about that dynamic very unsparingly in some ways. And the interesting thing to me is you get Emma Thompson, who’s a very accomplished nineteen nineties career woman, writing this movie, this adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, for which, by the way, she won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. And when she does the adaptation, she does that Hollywood sugarcoating of it. Right. A horror movie is there, but it’s very you need to kind of go digging for it. And it’s not the surface message of the film at all. And the movie become gets played. Is this like romantic period piece. And tell me what you think about that Emma Thompson adaptation like it. Has she just been captured by the patriarchy? What’s going on here?

S3: Well, I think the ending is a patriarchy capture because you would see a decade ish later frozen comes out and neither of the girls and frozen get has to wind up with some dumb prince guy that’s like likeable because he’s good with children. We’ve moved on, but in nineteen

S2: decade, right.

S3: Yeah. But in nineteen ninety five you cannot end a Hollywood movie like she had to end it that way. Right. I mean I don’t know if she wanted it to go that way or not, but she had to, she had to make the men more likable.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: It was very in the spirit of Austin to end it that way. I felt like. Yeah. When Austin wrote it that way, those men were tolerable and now she had to adapt. Something is to make it of the time. Remember that in nineteen ninety five we’re still five years away from Maid in Manhattan. That’s what movies were like there. They were like quadrant movies where like all right I guess this one’s for the ladies. Right. And it was terrible. I mean the way Emily says that this was like a horror movie when I was watching Made in Manhattan. I’m sorry to keep bringing it up. You guys clearly don’t want to talk about it. But if someone were to take away the music and turn it into like a dark working girl’s not working girl, but like a dark movie about a woman just trying to survive, it would hold up as a document also of its time. I mean, they say I mean, also the movie makes no sense. I wrote down a couple of lines that I thought maybe I’m seeing them in writing would help. When life shuts one door, it opens a window. So chop, what what what are they inciting her to do, a suicide, defenestrate,

S1: you know,

S2: like what is he trying to say to her? It’s like this scene in Silence of the Lambs. It’s trying to get her swallow his own tongue.

S5: Normally, you’d have to go through the entire program and then train for a year as a butler. But given the circumstances, rather extraordinary due to overbooking and understaffing, we’ve decided to accelerate your application

S4: and move you directly into management after the six week training,

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S5: with the proviso, of course, that you pass the practical exam and you fulfill each requirement for every station. So you see Miss Venturer, sometimes when life shuts one door, it opens a window. So jump,

S2: if you were to shave this a little darker, if you were to add some music, if you were to darken the lights on it a little, I think you would have documents of the time that was

S3: terrifying. You can make that movie in twenty, twenty one and the scene where she has to take her kid to work with her like all weekend long and leave him in the hands of hopefully competent coworkers. Very real and very

S2: helpful in the minority. Guard will show her the footage if this is him very quickly pretending that that is like a twenty seventeen New York Times story in the making. In the year 2000, I was forced to kiss the head of security. Right. In order to be canceled. Right.

S3: Right. I mean, I just read a piece in Wired about a man who had to take his son with him, a baby as an Uber driver, and his car was stolen with the baby. And I was just as you were saying, this could be a horror movie. I was like, it really could like a lot of bad stuff can happen when you’re, like, schlepping your kid to work with you all the time. A million things happening all the time in twenty, twenty one.

S1: But I need to ask you this question is like. What genre of these movies, they’re not rom coms, but what are they, because they’re not actually funny either of them,

S2: neither of them are funny, but they are but romantic comedies. Give me a time. You laughed in a romantic comedy. It’s like a Shakespearean comedy. They get married at the end. That’s why it’s called

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: a comedy is just a tragedy where you get married at the end.

S2: Yeah. And if you extend it to the divorce or to the death, it becomes a tragedy. If you keep the camera rolling, it all becomes a tragedy. Well, let’s be honest.

S1: The first two actually always the same. And then if it’s a sad ending, it’s a tragedy. And if it’s a happy ending, it’s a comedy.

S2: I mean, this is like The Glass Menagerie. I am one of four daughters, and my mother’s real hope for us was that we would just marry a wealthy man. She was an immigrant who stayed at home with her children. And she and my father got divorced and she didn’t have a profession like she could not see how working could ever be fair to a woman. And she’s right. Right. Like, we talk about this all the time and through a pandemic where women gave up their careers or lost their jobs at a disproportionate rate to men like my mother, who I like, rolled my eyes. And she was right about this stuff. And I don’t blame her. I just also like having watched her two divorces was like, I don’t know if marrying wealthy seems good either. Like it seems like that could go away.

S1: Can I ask you about the bad women in these movies? The ones with money, but who are the baddies? So the Natasha Richardson character in Manhattan or the sister in Law and Sense and Sensibility who like films, talks her husband down from three thousand pounds to a pittance. Fifteen hundred pounds.

S4: What do you say to 1500? What on earth would do half so much for rail systems that live off the land? They can’t expect more than they expect. The question is, what can you afford? To that mother, she learned more advisable, it is better coffee with the 1500 all at once. She should live longer than 50 years to be completely taken in. People always live forever when there is an annuity to pay them.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Again, one of the things that Austin got right about this culture of landed gentry was that it was surprisingly matriarchal. It lives on even through like the P.G. Wodehouse novels of the indomitable aunts who basically control

S2: everything about women being manipulative. That’s not the matriarchal. That’s women using manipulation because they have no power.

S3: She’s explained it. Correct. OK, women are powerless and they have to act in certain ways to have any power. It’s a soft kind of power. That’s why people always, like women, are so passive aggressive. It’s like because they’re not allowed to be aggressive, aggressive, you

S2: know, because then we get punched and divorced and nobody wants to marry us.

S1: From the point of view of someone like Hugh Grant, he feels like he’s at the whims of these women who can shunt him off to London and force him to do whatever he doesn’t want to do. And so yet, whether they’re like manipulative either way, they they do wind up having some kind of power. And this is considered to be a bad form of living. And Natasha Richardson, who is a very successful magazine editor and rich and glamorous, is

S2: that what she was? She was a magazine editor. I think she was just a fancy lady. I thought she was

S3: like she was she had a

S1: job. She was that she was a vote. And she had a swanky job for Vogue, which is why Dolce Gabbana kept on sending her clothes.

S2: You should Google it, but I think if she had a swanky job for Vogue, it’s like one of those West Coast editor jobs where it’s like, oh, you’re just there for your connections, which is not to say anything disparaging about whoever is the West Coast editor at Vogue and probably give me some work.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: I can’t find this on the Internet.

S2: I mean, I don’t think people really watch this a lot. I think it’s just me and now you guys. And I think this was it’s pretty safe. I won’t be invited back.

S3: She’s a socialite now next season two.

S2: Oh, my gosh. If sure

S1: I. Well, let’s get back to the show. Since the days of Googling that she was

S2: a socialite, she was a socialite, and she has that terrible friend who’s Amy Sedaris, which was Amy Sedaris. But also did you I wrote

S3: my note, Amy Sedaris.

S2: I know it wasn’t a great Amy Sedaris character

S3: that was like a racist. Amy Sedaris saying mean things to Julia’s character.

S2: So the women in this we know about Caroline Lane and made in Manhattan and we assume about the sister in law and sense and sensibility that the sister in law did horrible things to marry a man with money. The same things we can see Natasha Richardson doing like she is going to the Met party, the pre gala. She’s going to date him. She’s going to set up a lunch with him. She is working hard. And to work hard to marry a man with money is the opposite of accidentally finding a man with money while you’re trying on somebody else’s clothing. The only way to marry money and not be a villain is to back into it, to resist it and to eventually find it. Because these movies are ultimately they may be written by women, they’re made by men and they’re greenlit by men.

S3: And can I say that these themes are not gone? I don’t know if either of you watched Bridgton on Netflix, but it is the same story. It’s stories about the gold digging women in the eighteen hundreds trying to get a husband versus the ones that are more virtuous and virginal. And the the main couple in Bridgeton, I don’t know, I maybe didn’t watch this. OK, well, it’s all the same. The main couple, she doesn’t she hates him and he hates her and he’s the most eligible bachelor that season. And every other woman is like scheming to get him. She doesn’t even want him. And of course, you know what happens, I won’t say explicitly to spoil it, but it’s the same plot. Nothing has changed. Like we were saying, Frozen had a better ending because the girls in Frozen don’t wind up with the man. But like, that’s pretty atypical. Still, nothing really has changed in the theme that you guys are talking about, where there’s like the virtuous woman who just stumbled into a rich man’s arms and the evil, conniving, scheming, gold digging woman who whose laser focused on the rich man’s arms, that I mean, it’s

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: actually worse than the taming of the Shrew. Right?

S2: I think Emily and I are giving you the we don’t remember that.

S1: I apologize for bringing Shakespeare into this.

S3: Oh, no. Felix your

S2: thoughts. Sure. Well, listen,

S1: I actually I want to say that Kenneth Branagh. Emma Thompson made a movie of The Taming of the Shrew, where Emma Thompson plays The The Shrew who gets tamed by Kenneth Branagh. She’s like mean and nasty and hates him. But eventually she falls in love at the end and it has a happy ending.

S3: Do you think that’s better than that?

S2: It’s a comedy.

S1: It’s a romantic comedy. Exactly. But no, it’s all bad and it’s all patriarchal. And I think I just want to sort of finish it by by asking both of you, like with hindsight, what do we think of the fact that the only Oscar this movie got was the best adapted screenplay Oscar for him and Thompson? Like the thing that we like the most if we’re the academy,

S2: no ice storm

S1: being the script.

S2: That’s not how we know now. That’s not how the Oscars work. The thing about it was Emma Thompson, was that when you’re looking down a name on a list and you have to vote, everyone’s really psyched for Emma Thompson.

S1: I guess it’s the equivalent of giving, like Matt Damon, an Oscar for writing Good Will Hunting. It’s just like if if you get a script which is written by an actor. Wow, that’s something else.

S2: I’m in the Writers Guild of America now and sometimes I’m asked to vote and things. And I think it’s not really fair if I didn’t see certain things to vote. But I think it’s a common practice to vote for the thing that’s familiar. And Emma Thompson in nineteen ninety five is a familiar entity to everyone who’s voting. I would like to say that if I were to say if I were to dare and suggest a third movie to watch with this, it would be intolerable cruelty because that is a movie in which the gold digger is maybe the hero. Right. It is some sort of success to figure out a way to get money and to survive. We’re talking about survival here in both of these cases. We’re talking about the ability to have a life. The way you envision a life should be, not that they need to live in a mansion, but they need to be able to, like the women in sense and sensibility, need to get married. And by the way, I think that it’s Jane Austen aware of that when its its sense, you know, it’s like it’s a great hominine. It’s just like a pittance. That’s all it would take to get them there. And for Jaylo, she just wanted to be in the management training. The rest was gravy. But you know, what I always say is when life shuts one door, it opens the window. So, John. A deeply,

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: yeah, we will wrap up Taffy come out and actually tell us if ice storm is at the top of the ranking, where would you rank sense and sensibility and where would you rank maid in Manhattan.

S2: OK, so on a list of three or in a list, have a

S1: couple on a list of Kupelian.

S2: OK, so ice storm number one. I mean we all agree it’s a terrible movie, but do you not. It was a very popular movie. It has cultural relevance. Ask yourself if you are remember it like young me little 38 year old or 42 year old me watching succession and thinking it was an aspirational show. We remember that here, right? No, I’m just saying people grow.

S1: Have you have you grown since you watched the first season of succession?

S2: Taffy Emily watching the second season. And I’m like, what’s up that Emily?

S1: What’s your final ranking of these two movies?

S3: Uh, I can’t my brain is not wrapped around the billion, sadly. So just give me a sec. I mean, Sense and sensibility is it’s like a B minus. I’d rather watch Bridgton at this point. I mean, it’s a good movie. But again, I was like, I could be binge watching succession right now. And then again in preparation, of course. Right. Felix and made him and Han I mean. Yeah, a billion, whatever. It’s this is a bad movie. It wasn’t a fun, bad movie. I thought it was just pretty bad. Although I like watching Jaylo, I think she is amazing and I really thought she was poorly cast because she cannot disappear into made dumb ever. She is Jaylo. She has shown us all what it means to be a powerful woman at fifty two making out with Ben Affleck on Instagram.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: So over four years we are trapped in a year long vortex of this.

S3: She is our queen. So I mean it’s not the worst movie ever, but

S2: also that was her brand. I just want to say like she was Jenny from the block and now the rocks that she got. I’m OK. Go on. I’m sorry.

S3: It’s very consistent. The branding.

S2: It’s also very funny just to have the thought while you’re watching Sense and Sensibility of thinking of Kate Winslet and thinking of it as a matter of E prequel. Yes. Just close your eyes for a minute.

S1: I’m out of the movie. I’m going to be nicer about sense and sensibility than you guys. I think. I think it does stand up. I think it is problematic for all of the reasons that we have discussed, but it still has a lot of pace to it. It doesn’t have longas. It has actually like in terms of comic comedic aspects, like the bright yellow race car, which is actually like a horse drawn carriage, is hilarious. And there’s a bunch of like nice like moments of levity sort of baked into it. Angley keeps it racing along. It has the Duaringa wedding double wedding ending and

S3: where he throws the sense Alan Rickman to just send home the sense theme throws change coming out of the church. Just I needed to mention that.

S1: So I’m going to give I’m going to give it an A minus sense and sensibility. And for Maid in Manhattan, I just get if it’s a terrible movie, do not watch it. I proposed Taffy go watch Intolerable Cruelty as well, which is the most underrated Coen Brothers movie. Go check it out the most.

S2: That’s like and the best baby.

S1: It’s a really good movie Taffy. Thank you for coming on you. You are the only person we always have on every season of everything because you are the best person, you are

S2: the best person for asking me and making an old girl feel loved without having to marry for money. Thank you. I love you both. I love you all.

S1: And yeah, we’ll be back on Saturday with a regular episode of Late Money.