Private Lives is a 1930 comedy of manners by Noël Coward. It focuses on a divorced couple who discover that they are honeymooning with their new spouses in the same hotel. Despite a perpetually stormy relationship, they realise that they still have feelings for each other, and run away to a chalet in Switzerland. After a few days of bliss, their antics — which drove them apart before — creep back.
Tropes featured in the play and film include:
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Amanda and Elyot's relationship, and late Sybil and Victor's.
- Betty and Veronica: Sybil and Amanda, respectively, to Elyot. Also, Victor and Elyot to Amanda.
- Can't Live with Them, Can't Live without Them: The crux of Elyot and Amanda's relationship: they love each other, but also love to drive each other crazy.
- Dating Do-Si-Do: The point of the play
- Genteel Interbellum Setting: Like most of Coward's plays.
- Love Confession: At the hotel's terrace, Amanda and Elyot declare their love and decide to run away together.
- The Missus and the Ex: This set of Missus and Ex don't like each other at all.
- Really Gets Around: Amanda rattles off the men she dated (and slept with!) after she divorced Elyot much to his horror.
- Sympathetic Adulterer: The degree in which one sympathizes depends, but both of Amanda and Elyot's partners are absolute pills.