All that Heaven Allows is a film on melodrama. It follows a widowed woman Cary, who ends up falling in love with her gardener, a man of a lower class. The movie then depicts her relationship with this man, while also showing the drama that follows due to his lower class status. Cary chooses to salvage the relationships she has with her children and forsake her love for Ron. After Cary’s educated daughter gets engaged, her children undergo a change of heart and encourage Cary to again marry Ron. Ron then falls in a coma, and Cary finally works up the nerve to rekindle her love with Ron.
Cary reinforces the stereotype of a strictly patriarchal society. Throughout All that Heaven Allows, Cary illustrates a submissive female; she struggles to make up her own mind. In the first stages of her relationship with Ron, Cary is hesitant to date him, but Ron commands her, and she gives in. Even when Ron and his best friend are hunting, his best friend tells Ron that women need men to make up their minds. The director chooses to portray women in a negative light by forcing them into this submissive role.