Waymond & Evelyn: Breaking down an iconic film relationship

Josh Saunders, Beaver's Digest Contributor

Relationships in the media have been depicted in a wide array of random dots between good and toxic relationships like an uncorrelated scatter plot. Within the many disciplines that media has to offer like film, books and video games, we have seen media continue to portray wonderful characters in wonderfully nuanced, believable relationships.

Waymond and Evelyn (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”), Luz and Amity (“Owl House”), Bill and Frank (“The Last of Us”: HBO) and Arthur and Linus (“The House in the Cerulean Sea”) are just a few examples from the past couple of years.

Let’s hone in on the power couple in the most awarded film of 2023’s Oscars: “Everything Everywhere All At Once”.

Waymond and Evelyn are not perfect together. But no one is, and no one needs to be! The only way a successful relationship can work, as we see in their relationship, is when each party respects each other and has grace for each other’s shortcomings. When a foundation is built on mutual trust and an open heart to talk through issues, only then can a relationship flourish.

Waymond isn’t happy with his marriage with Evelyn at the beginning of the film, so he brings up the option of divorce because he doesn’t feel wanted. Evelyn mentions early in the film that Waymond wouldn’t be able to function without herself. It’s clear that Evelyn resents Waymond in a way, and Waymond no doubt feels that.

Their relationship is only able to blossom when Evelyn realizes how much of a fighter Waymond is in his own way. Waymond doesn’t fit into the many stereotypes of a masculine partner presented in the media. He’s incredibly in touch with his emotions, he is silly and spacey, and has an empathetic heart he constantly shares with others.

Evelyn has trouble accepting him because of her harsh upbringing by her father, Gong Gong. He is critical of Evelyn for all of her life choices, especially when it came to her choice to move to America. Evelyn is similarly critical toward Waymond, which is understandable because on the surface, it does look like Waymond isn’t putting in as much work in their relationship in terms of taking the initiative on helping with taxes, or not being on top of their laundromat business.

However, they are able to connect and grow when Evelyn realizes that he’s helping in his own way, like how he’s able to smooth things over with the tax auditor on multiple occasions by opening up and talking things through.

In the latter half of the film, Evelyn is only able to save the world once she is able to show the kindness she was never shown by Gong Gong to her daughter, Joy. Waymond is able to help her see how important that is, and they work so well together at this moment because of Waymond’s empathy and Evelyn’s determination. In this film, it is truly a turning point when Evelyn says to Joy, “No matter what, I still want to be with you. I will always, always, want to be here with you.”

You can’t get better than couples talking it out while also saving a collapsing universe.

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