Die Hard without a wife

In a post entitled “Creating Romance”, Tomas Diaz drops the following comment which isn’t terribly important to his post but which stood out to me: “What would Die Hard be without Bonnie Bedelia’s Holly motivating Bruce Willis’ John McClane? Well, as the sequels prove, mostly crap.”

Yes, but there’s a problem with this.

My brother and his wife recently borrowed Die Hard from me and rewatched it. My sister-in-law, when giving it back, said to me, “I really liked it, but I’d forgotten that his wife was a horrible feminist bitch.”

I was somewhat taken aback by this comment not just because SiL doesn’t usually employ language like that but because Die Hard is one of those few movies which I consider to be perfect. The kind of movie you can watch a hundred times and not think: it would have been a bit better if they’d just changed that or tweaked this. It was a tad distressing to realize that she was correct.

Holly McClane abandons her marriage in favor of her job, she takes the kids away from her husband, and he’s the one who ends up apologizing at the end.

With that in mind, it’s actually not that surprising that the marriage doesn’t work out. If Holly had agreed to go back to New York at the end of the first movie, maybe they would have had a chance.

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