Mortimer has been a very loud advocate against marriage for many years, and written countless books and articles against the topic – and yet he has allowed Elaine Harper to convince him that they ought to get married. When the film opens, he is waiting in line at the judicial court to get a marriage license so they can tie the knot, incognito of course. Though loud in his protestations against it, since it might damage his reputation, Mortimer takes one look at her pout and surrenders. He rushes home happy to announce the news—and discovers that his two demented aunts have been killing innocent nice old men searching to rent a room out of mercy and burying them in the basement. From that moment on, Mortimer gets busy thinking about all the potential broad repercussions about this, and how he intends to fix the situation—by having his brother committed so they can’t throw him in jail, and maybe he can blame it all on him. He is so scatterbrained and preoccupied, he forgets how he just got married, forgets about the cab (and even has the cab driver call him another one), and rushes around trying to get things settled, all the while ignoring his environment. Mortimer is so clueless about it, he allows his own brother to hogtie him and stuff a gag in his mouth. He trips over things, almost drinks poison without even thinking about it, and throws Elaine out of the house on several occasions. He’s too busy thinking about how to handle his problem to care about her feelings! But he can also be conciliatory and convincing, as he persuades his brother to sign a fake name (his real one) on the commitment papers instead of putting down “Teddy Roosevelt,” gets his aunts to commit themselves, covers up the murder with the policeman who happens to wander in, and even plays mind games with his brother, Jonathan. At the end, he is so delighted to find out he’s illegitimate that he announces to everyone present, with much glee, that he’s not a Brewster, but the son of a sea cook!

Enneagram: 7w6 so/sp

Mortimer has spent much of his adult life dodging commitment and trying not to get married. He has an overblown sense of humor, a flamboyant nature, and focuses on the good in most people—unless we are talking about his brother, then all bets are off. Even in the midst of extreme situations, he keeps his sense of humor and winds up laughing uproariously. He has no compunctions about lying to the police, promising to turn up places and then not going, and making up tall tales to convince others to go along with his schemes. But he also is an excessive worrier, constantly fretting about what harm might befall his two crazy but likable aunts. He overreacts to almost everything, all the time, from screaming at total strangers to get out of the house, unless they want to be killed, to throwing his wife out the front door. Mortimer finally reaches a point where he’s too passive to do anything but sit on the stairwell and watch everyone beat each other up, and even then he’s still being funny!