Where are the creative couples?
April 28, 2011 4:46 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for media images (books, movies, TV shows) of a certain kind of romantic partnership: happily partnered, creative, bohemian couples

I'm looking for movies, TV shows, or books about happily (at least mostly) partnered couples who live an exuberantly creative existence and have a very strong soul connection.

Gay or straight or bi (doesn't matter)
Examples that are almost right:
- Henry and June (with a bit less angst?)
- Bern and Margaret Chenowith of Six Feet Under -- they seem to have this sort of relationship, even though it is often viewed from their children's negative perspective)
- Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (less angst -- maybe I'm asking for too much!)

They don't have to be artists -- scientists, business people, just happy creative types with a deep soul connection of some sort.

Couples that I've thought fit this mold, but have never seen media about:
- Georgia O'Keefe and Stieglitz
- Rene Magritte and Gala
- Tony and Maureen Wheeler (founders of Lonely Planet)

I'm trying to avoid regular romantic comedies without good characterization, but any genre is okay (thriller, mystery, documentary, romance, comedy).

Thank you!
posted by 3491again to Society & Culture (40 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Have you read the Weetzie Bat books by Francesca Lia Block? Weetzie and My Secret Agent Lover Man might fit the bill.
posted by bibliogrrl at 4:54 PM on April 28, 2011 [5 favorites]

Joan Didion and John Dunne -- The Year of Magical Thinking is a memoir of her grief after his death, and it's about their long marriage.
There was nothing I did not discuss with John. Because we both writers and both worked at home our days were filed with the sound of each other’s voices. I did not think he was right nor did he always think I was right but we were each the person other trusted. There was no separation between our investments or interests in any given situation.
posted by Ashley801 at 4:55 PM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

Gala was the wife of Salvador Dali, not Magritte.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 5:18 PM on April 28, 2011

How about Christo and Jean-Claude? Probably one of the more famous artist partnerships in present day. Sadly Jean Claude passed away last year I believe.
posted by ruhroh at 5:21 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Fried Green Tomatoes (book and film)...Idgie and Ruth had a beautiful connection
posted by AlliKat75 at 5:27 PM on April 28, 2011

Bones (tv show) has Angela Montenegro and Jack Hodgins. Pretty happy over the course of the show. She's an artist and he's a scientist, and they're both creative and supporting of each other's enthusiasms.

Dorothy Sayers has the characters Harriet Vane and Peter Wimsey. She's a writer (and occasional detective), he's a detective. Their story plays out through the books Strong Poison, Have His Carcase, Gaudy Night, and Busman's Honeymoon. (I believe they appear in some of her short stories as well.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:30 PM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

It is, mathematically, impossible to favorite Weetzie Bat and Witch Baby enough.

Nick and Nora Charles in the Thin Man might also do.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:33 PM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins were a couple that worked together in art, architecture, and literature. (Arakawa died fairly recently, though.)

The couple at the center of Norman Rush's fantastic novel Mating fits most of your criteria, although there is angst.
posted by CutaneousRabbit at 5:46 PM on April 28, 2011

The couple featured in the wordless montage at the beginning of the movie Up.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 5:57 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone --

@GreenEyedMonster -- sorry, you're right. Then Salvador Dali and Gala, Rene Magritte and Georgette.
posted by 3491again at 6:21 PM on April 28, 2011

Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:03 PM on April 28, 2011

Oops, sorry. That's just a real life couple, not a piece of media.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:04 PM on April 28, 2011

Response by poster: Real life couples are okay! Please keep them coming.
posted by 3491again at 7:07 PM on April 28, 2011

Well of course that would be Wall-E and Eve.

(Also, yay to Weetzie Bat.)
posted by Glinn at 7:27 PM on April 28, 2011

The old friends of the protagonist in Children of Men.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:34 PM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
John and Yoko
David Byrne and Cindy Sherman
What about Pollock and Krasner?

um... Andy Samberg and Joanna Newsom?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:37 PM on April 28, 2011

Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:42 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson
posted by poodelina at 7:47 PM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

First couple I thought of was Lynette and Tom Scavo from Desperate Housewives- they're in advertising and later run a business together. I thought they were pretty much the only tolerable couple on that show.
posted by Nixy at 8:13 PM on April 28, 2011

Tom and Barbara from The Good Life fit this mold really well. They're more homesteaders than artsy.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:16 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, there are tons of old-timely lit real-life examples:

Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley
Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning
C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham

etc. etc.
posted by Nixy at 8:25 PM on April 28, 2011

Real-life couples:
Pierre et Gilles
Giulietta Masina and Federico Fellini
Gilbert and George
Bjork and Matthew Barney
Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley
posted by CCCC at 8:27 PM on April 28, 2011

Have you read Patti Smith's memoir, Just Kids, about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe? Not necessarily the same kind of couple as the others listed here (though they were romantically involved for a time), but "an exuberantly creative existence and...a very strong soul connection" certainly applies.
posted by camyram at 8:59 PM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Bernie and Roz Focker (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand's characters) in Meet the Fockers.
posted by amyms at 9:18 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer
Stephen and Tabitha King
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:24 PM on April 28, 2011

Hmm, came in here to recommend Harriet Vane and Peter Wimsey (also, incredible books, especially Gaudy Night, which you can safely start with), and I see that Margalo Epps had the same idea (cheers!). So consider this a second.
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:47 PM on April 28, 2011

Susan Sontag and Annie Liebovitz

less well-known, but a fascinating couple (and fascinating individuals): Lee Mullican and Luchita Hurtado
posted by scody at 9:50 PM on April 28, 2011

Marie & Pierre Curie
The Joliot-Curies
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:48 PM on April 28, 2011

Virginia and Leonard Woolf (not the happiest of endings, but they did have a strong connection and they qualify as Bohemian)
posted by Paris Elk at 11:16 PM on April 28, 2011

Maud Hart and Delos Lovelace, who were the reallife Betsy and Joe in the Betsy-Tacy books
posted by brujita at 11:37 PM on April 28, 2011

I don't know if this what you really want, but here's a page of actor couples including Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy (my picks), but there is also John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands. In other realms, there are Will and Ariel Durant (history of philosophy), Pierre and Marie Curie (physics), Ed and Carol Emshwiller(he an artist, she a writer of science fiction and there was some filmic collaboration, too), Rod Alexander and Bambi Lynn (dance), Fyodor Doestoevsky and Anya Snitkin (her autobiography/journals are really good on this kind of relationship -- he wrote, she transcribed and then fought with his creditors and critics to promote him). There are many more.
(And there are the political couples, the Clintons for instance...)
posted by CCBC at 1:39 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

How about Susan and Arin of Four Eyed Monsters?
posted by lizifer at 2:07 AM on April 29, 2011

Gerald (sometime painter) and Sara Murphy who moved to the French Riviera and became friends with the Fitzgeralds, Hemmingway and Picasso, before they were famous.
posted by cda at 10:19 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Julia & Paul Child - portrayed in the movie Julie & Julia by Meryl Streep & Stanley Tucci, relationship covered in Julia Child's autobiography My Life in France. Paul Child worked for the State Department doing communications work and was a painter and photographer, and they bounced around postwar Europe setting up various households with their art & cooking equipment. Julie and Julia wasn't the greatest movie but it does a nice job of portraying their deep affection for each other.
posted by yarrow at 11:26 AM on April 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Isabel & Ruben Toledo -- clothing designers.
posted by caoimhe at 2:20 PM on April 29, 2011

posted by milk white peacock at 2:27 PM on April 29, 2011

Charles and Ray Eames, a husband and wife team who designed a lot of the greatest mid-20th-century furniture, as well as architecture, film making, and writing. Unfortunately, I don't know enough of their career to recommend any particular books or movies about them.

I just want to favourite 'Witch Baby' and 'Weetzie Bat', too.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:26 PM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller?
Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks?
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee?

McMillan and Wife? (ok, just being silly on that one, lol)
posted by sundrop at 8:51 AM on May 1, 2011

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