Journal of Romance studies

Circuits of desire and loss: Marivaux and My Best Friend’s Wedding

Journal of Romance studies (2008), 8, (3), 41–50.


This article draws a number of parallels between Marivaux’s love comedies and the 1997 Hollywood comedy My Best Friend’s Wedding. It looks at configurations of desire in terms of a series of ‘coloured shapes moving in space’: the chase, the chain, a variety of triangles (leaning, here, on comparisons with both classical tragedy and the nineteenth-century novel of adultery) and of configurations of four. What is the nature of the happy ending in comedy that brings resolution out of the defeat of a third party? How do formal arrangements induce in the audience a willingness to loop the circuit of desire in such a way that it can end on reason or dance?

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Author details

Segal, Naomi