Directed by Ira Sachs.
Written by Ira Sachs and Oren Moverman. Based on the novel
"Five Roundabouts to Heaven" by John Bingham.
Starring Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and
Release Year: 2007
Review Date: 3/17/08
I'm starting to get warmed up again now that
the movies in theaters look a little better selection-wise; tonight,
there was a freebie downtown for the new marriage dramedy "Married
Life", so the lovely Meg and I took it in and we were mostly pleased
with the results.
In the late 1940s, our story gives us a
fairly interesting setup: two best friends--a career bachelor
(Pierce Brosnan) and a long-time married man (Chris
Cooper)--eventually come to be interested in the same woman (Rachel
McAdams). The married guy is interested because life with his
wife (Patricia Clarkson) is essentially tied to sex, not romance,
and he wants out; the bachelor sees the potential in this younger
woman for both good times now and a partner for life, even at the
expense of his friend's happiness. As if this wasn't enough,
the married guy has decided that he doesn't have the heart to
divorce his wife and walk away...no, he has to KILL HER.
And, this is supposed to be a comedy!
We have great actors on hand and they do not
disappoint; the script based on a novel, at least through the first
half of the film, is fresh, creative and generally amusing for a
marriage comedy-drama and I was liking things. The setting,
the look of the film, the jazz-inspired score, and all of those
great three-piece suits make "Married Life" come alive as an
invigorating movie experience on a smaller budget.
But, I thought the film waned a bit as it
wishy-washed between true black comedy and happy-ending bliss.
I was still interested to see it through, but it felt like it got
lost within itself; do we want to see the wife die, or do we want to
see the bachelor end up with the young woman, or how about with the
married guy's wife? Lots of questions, and the resolution
comes out where I thought it would (and, where I think YOU will
think it would, too), which was slightly disappointing given how
"Married Life" starts off. And, as I was watching, it kind of
hit me that Brosnan has been good in spots outside of his Bond work
("The Matador" is a great movie), but he
plays another version of the suave, debonair type that produces the
occasional yawn, even if you want to admit that the guy was born to
play smooth, well-dressed rich guys. And, as everyone who
knows my taste in movies knows, I don't like narrators, and "Married
Life" has got one. Bleh.
A solid freebie, though, and something that
does make for great date movie fare. Just don't go if you, you
know, recently cheated on your spouse or get generally uncomfortable
around those kinds of situations. You know.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard