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I suppose this is the story of the beauty and brutality of a long-term marriage as seen through the eyes of a writer who aspires to make art, but makes his living writing popcorn movies. Someone who wants to be a good man, but finds himself contemplating many crimes. Someone who is guilty of the crime of being human. Someone whose life is the only movie he can't rewrite. Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
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I saw this tonight at the Minn/St Paul Film Fest, it's dark sexy weird and kind of funny too. The story is basically of a husband and wife screen writing team trying to keep their heads and love about them in modern day corrupt Hollywood.
The couple is played by Eric Stolz (Pulp Fiction, Mask) and Felicity Huffman (Sports Night, Frasier) both better here than I've ever seen them, and they've both been in a lot of good stuff before. They have a difficult marriage, and both have affairs; she with William H. Macy (Fargo, Pleasantville) and he with Kim Dickens (Things Behind the Sun) and possibly Justine Bateman (who has one of the funniest lines in the film, too 'blue' to reprint here, but hearing it come out of 'Mallory' from 'Family Ties' mouth was a big surprise and got a huge laugh!) It's an odd story, but I ended up caring for them, because even though they are both screw ups, they TRY to be good parents and good people, and I guess that's what moved me, they aren't the cookie cutter romantics that work out all their problems, in fact they actually compound their problems by the end. There are a lot of dubious elements involved; it's very frank and sexual and not in a coy way, and they experiment with illegal substances too, but it's surprisingly straightforward about it, in a way that took me by surprise. There's an element of whimsy too, he sees his life 'as a movie' so a movie crew follows him around, which confused me at first but then I warmed up to it. It's very well done, much deeper than most 'story of a marriage' stories, things between the husband and wife are not easy but they struck me as being true. The acting is all great, as is the camera work. Sometimes the music bordered on cheesy, but overall I'd say this was a terrific little movie. I'd give it a 8 out of 10.
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