Widowers in the Movies


****** Movie Spoiler Alert *******

I took my girls to see “Nim’s Island” last week. Good movie overall, but I can’t help to think of how they portray widowers and their families. (something personal here). This is the second recent movie that I’ve seen that has a widower as one of the main characters, the other was “Enchanted”. By the end of both movies the widower dads were attached/married. Hmm, if only real life was that easy.

In “Nim’s Island”, the father hooked up with his daughter’s favorite author. A dad and daughter out in the middle of the ocean, and an agoraphobic author from San Fransisco meet. Wow, that was easy. This was computer dating at its very best (worst?). The daughter seems to set them up too. (Come on girls get your acts in gear… 😉 )

Now all I have to do is set up some sort of research on a south sea island (doesn’t sound too bad), and I will be able to find a future Mrs. Somehow I don’t think things are ever that easy.

And on to “Enchanted”. I enjoyed this movie, and all the ins to other “Disney” shows. Cartoon characters come to life in New York. Of course the beautiful princess meets up with the widower, thanks to his daughter (again, girls, you aren’t working things right!!!). Singing and Dancing ensue. At the end through many trials and of course defeating the “Evil Stepmother”, the widower and princess are together. One happy little family.

Then of course there is another widower meets girl picture. Can anyone say “Sleepless in Seattle”? This time the son of the widower calls up a radio talk show to get dad a wife. Cross country trips occur, and they walk off to what is assumed another happy family, Hollywood style.

I will admit that “Sleepless in Seattle” did a admirable job of actually portraying what a widower goes through, at least if you have enough money to pull up roots, and have the luck and or skill to get another high paying job in another city. Yes, there were many a night that I didn’t sleep, even less than my normal sleepless patterns. Yes, I’ve daydreamed about talking with my late wife. Yes, I had to get up every morning and remind myself to breath. I don’t normally need to remind myself of that anymore, but it was there. There were many things I have gone through that were in that movie. This in itself gets my vote for a good movie. Most movies I’ve seen with widower or widows don’t even touch the problems with losing a spouse. It is for good reason that losing a spouse is on the top of most lists of traumatic life events.

My last question. Why are a lot of movies about hooking up widowers? Doesn’t that fly in the face of all the “Evil Stepmothers” of fairy tale fame?

9 thoughts on “Widowers in the Movies”

  1. I read your post with interest. Being a widow of four years I agree that most movies and a lot of books don’t touch on what really happens when we lose a spouse. It’s uncomfortable, it’s incovenient to bring it up many times in society…people just don’t feel comfortable talking about it or hearing about it, and sometimes that’s just what the widow or widower needs, to talk about it, to just talk and let it out.

  2. I see your point…

    But was Nim’s Island otherwise good? Been meaning to catch it, but we’ve been too busy to take the kids… maybe this weekend if it’s still there.

  3. taylhis

    Yep, it is a good movie. At least as far as I go with it. I was entertained through the whole film. I could forget about the plot holes and other minor problems through the film. It was only afterward when thinking about it, that I found places lacking.


    Welcome and thank you for your comments. You’re right most people don’t know and are uncomfortable talking about death in general, and widowhood specifically. There are exceptions but it seems to be a general rule. I think fear of the unknown, and our societies views on death play a large part in this. Finding someone you can talk to plays a large part in how soon we can function again in society. I will never get over the death of my wife, but I can now function as a member of society. (At least as well as I ever did) 😉

  4. First of all, we suggested nominating you for the second season of “Who Wants to Date Our Dad?”, and I believe you nearly took my head off. Second: I trust you to find her yourself. If I find her for you, any ensuing troubles will be blamed on me. *No thanks!* I blame myself enough. Thirdly, if people weren’t hooking up widowers, where do you think the steady stream of “Evil/Wicked Stepmothers” would come from?

  5. And on the topic of hooking up widow(er)s, the google ads I am seeing now are “Find Widowers to Date” and “Widows Seeking Widowers” 😮

    I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to seeing Nim’s Island, but I plan to see Enchanted when I get my hands on the DVD.

  6. Enchanted is very cute – Sammie’s favorite movie, well, it was until I got ahold of Barbie Mermaida from the library. Going to see Nim’s Island tonight!

  7. Mr Justj — go onto match.com and start the process. It worked for Sharon! You’re a fine catch (heck you’re my better looking brother!) so I am sure you can find someone. But hoping to see someone “across a crowded room” might not be the solution.

    I wish my aunt Lily didn’t live in IL…

    And hey, any time you feel the need to unload feel free. What good is a friend if he/she cannot be a shoulder to lean on when you’re feeling down! And speaking of feeling down… How is that oven coming along!? Did you get your neighbor’s?

  8. Chris,

    I know I’m a computer nut (geek?), but the online dating thing just freaks me out. Maybe I’ll have to go to my early Toledo places. There used to be this lady who was a professional matchmaker. Well, maybe not professional, nobody paid her, but it was her job. I’m sure there will still be 1 or 2 other matchmakers in that apartment complex.

  9. John,

    I’m not really sure if the widows in the movie have all these happy endings too. Can’t remember it. Portraying a single widower seems to be more interesting. The last thing I’d ever want to be is the evil stepmom, that’s one role I can do without.
    Besides that, I hate dating, and probably will stay single for ever.

    But uhh…. I’ll come and visit you at that island in the South Sea. I’ll put on a swimsuit and take my snorkel thingies with me, we’ll have a great time. Wedding at the end or not 🙂


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