From pop culture aficionados Barson and Heller (Teenage Confidential) comes a cheeky look at marriage in the last century, for better or for worse. For the most part, they shy away from much of the recent past in favor of the visually rich and amusing marriage culture of the 1940s, '50s and '60s, revealing a trove of images of blushing brides and men in skinny ties. It's a wise move, as too many sendups from the later part of the century might hit a little close to home. But who won't chuckle at a list of ""Those Awful Truths: The Ten Best Film Comedies About Marriage""? Other highlights include ""They Never Married: Hollywood's Most `Almost' Couples,"" ""Harold Bloom Presents the Five Happiest Marriages in Shakespeare"" and ""Ten Time-Tested Tunes about Getting, Being, or Un-being Married."" Perhaps the most enlightening section picks words of wisdom from marriage advice manuals from 1888 through 1999, proving that although our attitudes might change, our need to know if we are doing it the way everyone else does it will never go away. Full of hilariously dated advertisements, paperback book jackets, movie posters and other ephemera, this is an ideal wedding shower gift and a must-have for pop junkies. (May) FYI: Barson is associate director of publicity at Putnam.