The Wedding Gift is an English film directed by Richard Loncraine and based on a true story. In 1984, Diana Longden, a middle-aged woman with two grown children, is afflicted with a mysterious debilitating disease. Doctors are at a loss to explain the creeping paralysis and excruciating pain in Diana's body.
Her loving husband Deric, who runs a lingerie factory, devotes most of his waking hours to taking care of Diana. Luckily, they both have a keen sense of humor which serves as an antidote to the increasing frustration of their situation. The couple reach a low point when one doctor suggests that Diana's condition is a product of her own hysteria.
The Wedding Gift skillfully and with great emotional power depicts what it means to be dependent from the perspectives of both the dependent person and the caregiver. Julie Walters is convincing as Diana, a spunky woman who can barely hang on to her dignity as she moves from an active life to confinement. Her helplessness brings on storms of anger and fear. Jim Broadbent is excellent as her devoted husband Deric, a man whose only escape comes when he attends a writer's convention and meets Aileen (Sian Thomas), a blind novelist. They share an interest in literature.
This film vividly shows how important the idea of reciprocity is to those who find themselves dependent upon others. In this case, Diana comes up with a creative way of repaying Deric for all he has done for her. The surprise ending of The Wedding Gift speaks volumes about marital love.