Let’s face it, the biggest cause of divorce is marriage. In Woody Allen’s Interiors, the stately Manhattanite of advanced style Eve is slowly abandoned by her husband. To process this, she throws herself into improving her impeccable greige interior – and that of her children. And who in their right mind can blame her? Don’t we all feel the need to create esthetic order from chaos when the going gets tough?
This column was published recently in WOTH Wonderful Things Magazine.
From the very first scene, Woody Allen does not hold back on the drama. Businessman Arthur stares from his office window (overlooking the Twin Towers) and ponders the abyss he will throw his family in with his divorce. Elsewhere in Manhattan, life goes on as usual for just a little bit longer. Arthur’s wife Eve drops by her youngest daughter’s boyfriend to show a four-hundred dollar vintage vase that would look just divine on that cherry side table in the foyer. Now, every rationally-thinking esthete would drop to his knees and thank our Lord in heaven if his mother-in-law for once doesn’t show up with a Serving You! driftwood tray from Pier 1 Imports. But alas, that’s not how we roll in the world of Interiors. The taste-free son-in-law would much rather whine about how his abode is constantly fine-tuned to perfection with a steady flow of interior trouvailles in beiges and earth tones. “It’s not an exact science!”, Eve defends herself as she is reprimanded for returning a sofa that just didn’t cut it. As readers of WOTH, we know the deal. Sometimes you have to sit on a sofa before you take a stand against it.
But then the emotional rollercoaster starts its ride. Arthur announces the divorce over a particularly painful diner at the family’s Hamptons weekend home. And Eve realizes she must spend the rest of her life alone – in a Park Avenue apartment with a Hungarian point parquet floor. Talk about the glass being half full! But alas, it soon becomes painfully obvious that even the perfect travertine dining room table gives you preciously little love in return if you have to dine at alone night after night. And so, Eve sees only one way out: suicide. She skillfully duct-tapes all doors and windows, turns on the gas on her stove and drapes herself on a beige velvet sofa – in a long black gown so that she can be laid out with minimum effort and maximum panache. If you want to look good at your own funeral, it doesn’t hurt to help a hand.
Eve’s suicide attempt fails miserably. To add insult to injury, her ex-husband’s new flame enters the all-beige stage wearing a fiery red dress. “She’s a vulgarian!”, Eve’s minimalist daughters hiss to each other during an excruciating dinner party. After one (or two) glasses of sherry too many, the Thonet chairs are moved aside for some wild Dixieland moves. Arms flailing, the brand spanking new stepmother hits a vase causing it to fall to pieces. To an interior design aficionado like me, the mere sight of a vase scattered all over the floor is a movie finale equal to – let’s say – one hundred thousand approaching Orcs in Lord of the Rings. Goosebumps, I know! If you want to know how it all ends, you should definitely rent Interiors yourself. Make sure you take some uppers, though – you’re going to need them!