Fake Movie Friday Submissions: The Wife of Bath

Ashley returns again with possibly the most creative Fake Movie Friday we’ve seen. After two weeks of strange murder tails she comes in to try and show that she is more intelligent than us. Enjoy!

This fake movie friday is inspired by, and loosely based on, Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath” tale in The Canterbury Tales. With Frankenweenie coming out, I thought it would be fun to make this one stop motion as well. It is set at some point in the past, with the a family living in a small two bedroom cottage, in a small town, possibly in the UK or New England.

The Wife of Bath

We open in a cottage, on a little girl, with big brown eyes and dark hair in braids, hiding under her bed. We hear in the distance her father yelling, he’s just come home from the local pub. As he begins his rant, we cut to him sitting in his chair, his wife bringing him dinner. He is large, fat, and red in the face. She is slight, with fair skin and dark hair.

“What good’s a woman who, as wife,
Cannot cook worth her life!
And cleans but once a measly day?
You simply waste your time away!
And where are my socks, are they not mended?
Your wifely duties you’ve not attended!
Do not look at me, and hold your tears!
Or I will verily unlock your fears.”

The wife quietly leaves the room, afraid to make a sound and enrage her husband further. She finds her daughter, still hiding under the bed.

“My daughter, come, please do not hide,
your father, he was just out, for a ride.
A fairy tale, I will now spin,
to take your thoughts away from him.”

“Once in a kingdom far, far away,
lived a knight, who to all’s dismay,
had the temperament of an angry crow,
but the visage of a handsome beau.”

Cut to the Mother’s tale. We have the handsome and borderline violent knight, riding his horse through town as he steals from vendors and mistreats women (in a way that shows he is bad, but this is a kids movie…). The town is made up of small cottages and storefronts, with horse drawn carts and cobble streets. We see the knight approach a woman in an alley between two stores. This is a woman he is clearly romantically “interested” in (sort of like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast was “interested” in Bell).

“Now listen girl, I do not wait,
your denials I will not tolerate!
You have no choice, and this is true.
I promise, I will marry you.”

“Please sir, I cannot consent,
you have set a cruel ferment.
I love not you, and never will,
I know for this, you may kill.”

We see the knight raise his hand to strike the woman, just as he does, an officer of the court sees him and grabs the knight’s wrist before he has a chance to strike. He is promptly arrested. During his trial the knight is addressed by the women of the court.

Court Women:
“The women of this high-held court,
do hereby sentence you report,
on what it is in life we want,
more than presents or a puerile jaunt.
We sentence you, in one year’s time,
to find the answer to this rhyme.
If you shall fail, this is at stake,
your knighthood we shall merry take!”

At the end of that year, he is to present his findings on “what women want in life” to the women of the court.

The knight very clearly does not think highly of women, so in order to find out what women want, he (ridiculously) starts to ask the learned men in the region. We see him going to scholars, priests, doctors, lawyers, philosophers. All are men and all guess at what women want.

“What women want? Why such frivolous searches?
All know they want nothing but pretty perches.
And gold, and fame, and other such squat.
My boy, they simply aren’t worth a thought.”

“Dear Knight, I will tell thee what they want,
’tis power over us poor men, they flaunt!
Please, I beg dear sir, do not trust,
for the “fairer sex” is never just!”

With only one day left, the knight realizes none of the men he spoke with had the correct answer. He is distraught with the knowledge that he will lose his knighthood, the one thing that he truly loves. He is riding his horse through the woods on his journey back to the court when he happens upon a young woman by a brook. He is so desperate, he decides to ask her what women want in life. The knight recalls his one year’s journey to the woman. Once finished, she tells him that she is a servant at the castle (which you can see through the trees by the brook), and will only tell him what women truly want if he promises her freedom. The knight agrees.

Servant Woman:
“Please, I do not wish to put you in a pique,
my knight, tis such a simple answer that you seek.
A woman wants nothing but what’s here on earth,
given to every man by birth.
Respect and equal treatment we all need,
now go to court on our behalf, and plead,
for those rights that should have been the source
that guided civilizations course!”

The knight returns to court along with the servant woman and tells the women of the court what he has learned:

“Upon my travels far and wide,
I have learned to set aside
those feelings that I shamefully admit
I held but now I see unfit.
A wise woman spoke to me and held,
the deepest truth that I now tell.”

The knight recounts his journey and what he has learned from the servant woman. The women of the court agree that his answer is exactly what they were looking for. They let him keep his knighthood. However, the entire court must decide on whether or not to allow the servant woman her freedom. She is working off a debt owed by her parents, and the court decides that they cannot set her free. The knight, hearing this, asks to pay off the servant’s debt. The court and debtors agree to this deal, as long as the knight agrees to take the woman as his charge.

The knight then goes to the servant woman and gives her a choice.

“My dearest, I humbly request,
that you make a choice, at my behest.
I will grant your freedom, this I guarantee,
but I ask that you please marry me.
The choice is yours, I will not force,
if it’s a “no”, I’ll change my course.
And leave you be for all your life,
but I would love to share you as my wife.
Please take your time, I will wait,
as long as you wish, that is my fate.”

The servant woman tells the knight she would like some time, and that she would like to get to know him before agreeing to marry. The knight agrees and we see them date, meet each other’s families, etc. Seasons pass and the servant woman makes her choice.

Servant Woman:
“My knight, this time with you has shown,
how my love for you has grown.
It would be my honor if you’d agree,
to consent to marry me.”

They have a wedding and everything is perfect. The knight treats the servant woman as an equal and they live happily ever after.

Cut to the girl in the cottage, who is no longer hiding under the bed.

“So you see, my little dear,
minds can change, as happened here.
One who’s bad can become good,
and live the life that he well should.”

“Thank you mother, for the story,
but as for me, I still worry.
What about my father’s mind?
Will that ever become kind?”

“Well my dear, I will say this,
this account he best not miss.
If he says not sorry, nor repent,
he just may have an accident.”


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4 thoughts on “Fake Movie Friday Submissions: The Wife of Bath

  1. Dunn says:

    I think this would make a great children’s book. I do love how in the ending you get to see some Ashley crazy shine through

  2. peter says:

    haha. i know, it’s like she tried her best to have to relationship murder, but couldn’t.

    i’m scared for your life buddy

  3. Ashley says:

    Oh, please. He’s fine! Andrew, tell Peter you’re fine…

    Also, writing this was so much fun, as usual. The Wife of Bath’s tale is great, I almost made this a rhyming R rated romantic(ish) comedy, but ended up with a children’s book instead.

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