The Other Boleyn Girl (film)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

The 2008 adaptation of the novel, The Other Boleyn Girl shows a romanticized version of the events around HenryVIII's marriage to his first and second wives and his affair with Mary Boleyn.

The plot revolves around the two Boleyn sisters Anne (Natalie Portman) and Mary (Scarlett Johansson) competing for the affections of Henry VIII (Eric Bana). Political machinations run rampant in this movie and plots are laid, hatched, destroyed and reborn sometimes within minutes of one another, however for any meager student of history you will inevitably know all the rest of it already.

Tropes used in The Other Boleyn Girl (film) include:
  • Adaptation Distillation: The book is 1000 pages long. The movie has to elide a great deal to fit several years worth of events into two hours of film.
  • Amicably Divorced: Averted hard by Catherine of Aragorn who IS the rightful Queen of England in her eyes.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Anne Boleyn gets a short one.
  • Bastard Bastard: Mary gives birth to one.
  • Batman Gambit: The Boleyns having their daughter have an affair with the King to gain more political power.
  • Break the Cutie: Both sisters get their share, first Mary, then Anne.
  • Dueling Stars Movie: Portman vs. Johansson
  • The Exile: Anne is exiled to France after she marrys against her family's will, subverted in that she uses the opportunity to learn how to seduce royalty while there.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Mary taking care of Henry after he takes a spill while horse riding on the Boleyn estate, she takes care of him, and this takes effect.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The beheadings.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: 16th century Royal English Court attire.
  • Happily Ever After: The Where Are They Now? Epilogue says this about Mary's future.
  • Heir Club for Men: The historical events of this movie inspired the Trope Namer.
  • Hot Consort: Mary Boleyn, but technically not Anne as she only seduces Henry and puts all of her power into not sleeping with him until he makes her queen.
  • Hollywood History: The only way to tell this tale in a two hour film.
  • Love Dodecahedron: EVERYONE to Henry.
  • Off with His Head: George Boleyn and Anne Boleyn.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Anne to Henry Percy.
  • Pimped-Out Dress
  • Pretty in Mink
  • Rape Is Love: Anne tells Henry he cannot have her until he makes her Queen. Eventually this leads to him taking advantage of her, and then in the next scene they get married.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: One of the shots in the movie, that was also shown often in promotional material, was Anne in her coronation clothing.
  • Right Through His Pants: The rape scene occurs with both of them fully clothed, and without taking even half a second to remove the many, many layers that would have been in the way.
  • Settle for Sibling: William Carey originally wishes to marry Anne, but her father gives him Mary instead, as he thinks Anne can do better.
  • Take That: Delivered by Catherine of Aragorn to both sisters at once before she enters her trial.
  • The House of Tudor: Henry VIII, and The Virgin Queen are shown.
  • The Mistress: Mary Boleyn, but techincally not Anne.
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue: For those that don't know this already.
    • Specifically Anne Boleyn as her own gambit to become queen overshadows the original gambit.
  • You Fail History Forever: Anne and Mary were both raised in France, and would have had French accents, not English.
    • Speaking of accents, the English spoken in the first half of the sixteenth century would have been recognizably English, but very difficult to understand, if not outright impossible.
    • Mary was banished from the English Court by the Boleyn family for marrying so far below her station, not because she was a threat for Henry's affection.
    • The film is true to historical events as they are known to have occurred, but it imputes motives mostly unknowable.