So nu, Batman, why aren’t you married yet?
Last night, I went to see The Dark Knight Rises. (I know, I know–I was one of the last people in the continental U.S. who hadn’t seen it.) While I had been greatly looking forward to the movie and was incredibly pleased with how it played out, I couldn’t help but laugh at the marriage pressure being placed Bruce Wayne, especially at the start of the film.
First, loyal Alfred told Bruce his dream for his master’s future: He hopes to be on vacation on Florence and look up and spy Bruce across the tables with his wife and kids. And then when Fox sees the reclusive Wayne for the first time in years, he asks after his personal life and possible wife. These two white haired men seem to be channeling the spirit of a Jewish grandmother. (Except I bet your bubbe didn’t know an iota about nuclear fusion.)
Bruce/Batman, I feel your pain. I have mastered the art of the blank stare or spontaneous deafness when asked about my relationship status. And at least you don’t have to fend off the “Im yirtzeh Hashem by you,” (If God wills it, by you), which I just encountered when calling a cousin to congratulate him on the engagement of his 20-year-old daughter. (I think what I object to is the “if” part.)
But back to Batman.
So was the final Batman simply an elaborate, highly explosive romantic comedy, a Bridget Jones’ Diary for the Caped Crusader? (Some spoilers ahead, but you probably already saw the movie cause you’re on top of your shit, unlike me.)
The Dark Knight Rises rom-com bona fides:
1. The aforementioned pressure to get married: No, none of the well-meaning friends remind Bruce that his biological clock is ticking, but their vision of a healthy, happy future for Mr. Wayne does entail finding that perfect someone. How else to prove he has moved on from his former love’s awful death?
2. When Batman and Catwoman meet, they don’t like each other in the way that people who are destined to be together at the end. It’s all very Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. When I truly dislike someone, I will defriend him on Facebook. I won’t whisper so close to his ear that it appears that I might lick it, as Selina Kyle does in one memorable scene.
3. The haughty other woman: There is always another woman to tempt our main man, confusing him with her elevated diction and refined tastes. But despite his/her own pedigree, he’s not supposed to really want her. He wants the challenge–the cat burglar or the woman who smokes her age daily in cigarettes. Thank god that at least in Batman’s case, the “other” woman eventually outed herself as…the ultimate villain of the story. Haughtiness never comes to any good.
4. The happy ending: At the end of Rises, Batman and Catwoman end up together despite their earlier differences. Of course, most other couples don’t have to fend off a nuclear explosion. (And this fact makes me a little worried for the children of these two otherwise impossibly attractive folks. I hope that bat suit and cat suit contain several layers of lead.)