, 91 m., 2007
Director: Ira Sachs
Writers: Ira Sachs (screenplay) & Oren Moverman (screenplay), John Bingham (book Five Roundabouts to Heaven)
Stars: Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel McAdams
Ira Sachs’ Married Life is a darkly comedic, murder and passion-drenched domestic drama that’s never quite as funny, as disturbing or as involving as we hope.
Chris Cooper is Harry Allen, a happily-married businessman in the suburbs of 1949. His wife, Pat (Patricia Clarkson) and he have been gently and congenially married for many years. But Harry yearns for a change. He has found that change, potentially, in young Kay Nesbitt (Rachel McAdams), a pretty blond who really loves Harry. She is mutual friends with Harry’s best friend Richard Langley (Pierce Brosnan), who narrates the film. Richard is clearly infatuated with Kay as well. This provides complication. Another complication: Harry wants to leave his wife and doesn’t want to devistate her. Better he should poison her to death. Quick, painless, and he never has to put her through the embarassment and pain of being jilted.
The film was directed by Ira Sachs (Forty Shades of Blue) and written by he and Oren Moverman (Jesus’ Son, I’m Not There.). It’s based on the novel Five Roundabouts to Heaven by John Bingham. The film largely concerns Harry’s desperation to leave the woman he loves for the woman he’s in love with, and his desire to do so without causing any strife. As such a story, it doesn’t drum up too much suspense or passion. It’s sort of like a Douglas Sirk melodrama (without the melodrama) crossed with a film noir (without the dark demeanor). As such, it’s not bad.