Characters In My Fair Lady Who Are Not Henry Higgins I Would Rather Have Seen Eliza Doolittle End Up With -The Toast

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One need not be a fan of Audrey Hepburn to consider it a moral outrage that My Fair Lady ends with a continuation of Henry Higgins’ weirdly critical, sexless relationship with Eliza Doolittle (you can always pretend it’s the Julie Andrews stage version, if that helps). No man who wears hats that unbecoming has any right to be such a prescriptivist in matters of dialect (what is that brown, shapeless mess he has on his head in the opening scene? It is an insult to hats, and his coat is no better).

He is a terrible man, and not fun terrible either, like Wesley Snipes on 30 Rock, just regular terrible, like the mean manager who works at every BevMo. His attraction to women as a gender is questionable at best; his treatment of Eliza is worse than how James Spader treats Maggie Gyllenhaal in that stupid movie about chaining your secretary to your desk until she pees herself. No one deserves to be treated like that. Not Maggie Gyllenhaal, and not Audrey Hepburn, even though she is now dead.

The following is a partial but by no means complete list of My Fair Lady characters who would have done a better job of making Eliza happy than Henry Higgins, who looks like the fey ghost of John Wayne and is real mean.

The obvious choice: Freddy Eynsford-Hill

Oh, I’m sorry, do you have a problem with men who match their spats to their top hats and have handsomeness sewn into every lineament of their face? Then go ahead and spend the rest of your miserable life fetching Henry — who will never let you call him Henry, you know, he will insist on being called “Mr. Higgins” or even “Professor” right until he dies — his damn slippers and listening to him criticize your interior decorating choices without ever offering a constructive suggestion.

Colonel Pickering

If you’re going to enter into a lavender marriage, it should be with someone delightful who thinks you’re sweet.

The butler

He’s polite, he has a job, and he has never once called Eliza “a squashed cabbage leaf” while making fun of her for being poor in front of an entire street full of Edwardians. Point, butler.

Any of the following background characters in the “Loverly” sequence: the sweet old man who brings her flowers, the strong-looking youth in the newsboy cap who picks up the cabbage cart, the sandy-haired dude who does a soft-shoe with her, the masculine woman in a boater hat who dances with her, the chivalrous gentleman who puts his coat over a puddle for her to walk on

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The sleazy vocal coach at the Embassy ball with the amazing head of hair

Any one of these dudes, they seem nice

Pick any other character from this movie; go ahead. None of them have ever stuffed marbles in her mouth or forced her to undergo sleep deprivation or ruined her career prospects and told her the only man who’s ever expressed romantic interest in her will cheat on her and leave her penniless.

Henry Higgins is a monster who wears awful smoking jackets and I hope Eliza Doolittle murdered him quietly after updating his will for him, then retired to Brighton and wore a veil always and smiled mysteriously at strangers and walked her little dogs every night at sunset on the beach.

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