“My Week With Marilyn” or “quorum pars parva fui…”

A strangely unthinking film: Colin Clark’s diaries, the basis of the story, are used too straight: too often we hear a bon mot from a Great One (it may be Larry, it may be Sybil Thorndike), overheard at the door by a spellbound Clark; that’s it – it doesn’t fit into the story, but in the film it goes. And this narrator is purely unnuanced: not a squeak of self-awareness, or even of how his influence nudged Monroe towards, rather than from, her destruction.

As in End of the Rainbow, the man we like offers to marry the oppressed woman to save her, from the man we don’t like, from fame, from herself. And, similarly, the woman fails to grasp the rope and is carried on to her doom.

Whenever Marilyn’s around we’re not far from Helen of Troy, but in the Iliad it’s left to Priam to miss his chance of safety: he rejects an offer in Book 7 to return Helen and save his city. Is it all tied up with male infatuation, and the roles which this forces onto beautiful women? Are the good men who offer marriage as a way out thinking entirely with their brains, or is another organ involved?

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