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Marie and Bruce (2004)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 2008 (Portugal)
Based on a play by Wallace Shawn, the film is a dark but comical glimpse at one day in the breakdown of a marriage.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian McConnachie ...
David Wiater ...
Party Guest at Frank's
Nancy Giles ...
Edgar Oliver ...
Bettina (as Emily McDonnell)


Based on a play by Wallace Shawn, the film is a dark but comical glimpse at one day in the breakdown of a marriage.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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A surreal story of two people.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including sexual references, and some nudity | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2008 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Wallace Shawn's Marie & Bruce  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film originally premiered in the US at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2004. However, because of distribution problems, the film took a long five years to hit the US market (in which it was released internationally on DVD from 2005-2007), finally arriving on DVD in March 2009. See more »


It's Only
Written and Performed by Matthew Herbert
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User Reviews

"Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" vs Marie & Bruce
19 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As a young man, I first saw "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" and was aghast at such vituperative enmity shared by a married couple. As years passed, I understood that this shocking portrayal by Taylor and Burton (George & Martha) of a dysfunctional couple was just one way some couples manifest their undeniable love for each other. There is much drama and intentional pain to be inflicted upon each other to assuage their sado-masochistic tendencies. In the end, after bringing others down to their level of marital martial arts, they survive because they truly love each other. To outsiders, they express in in such an unpalatable way. On the other hand, "Marie & Bruce", while similar to George & Martha, with Marie's hateful and vituperative harangues (especially in public) against Bruce, who responds to her with indelicate personal thoughts about other women's tighter vaginas,etc., demonstrates a marital bond more consistent with the Generation X'ers propensity to see everything from ones own selfish and hedonistic point of view that leaves little room for even a flicker of true love within their marital foundation. Perhaps "M&B" reflects another casualty of our society as our moral-ethical boundaries have degenerated since post WWII changes in our society. This marriage is definitely worse that George and Martha's as there is no love residing anywhere behind their dysfunctional behavior. Even worse, Bruce takes the milquetoast approach as he receives his wife's spewings and calls her "darling" a million times in a demonstration of appeasement while he seeks the love he is missing from his wife through sexual fantasies with strange women and almost latent homosexual fulfillment with his lunch buddy, Frank.

Marie and Bruce may represent the decline of dysfunctional marriages to an even lower point today than the Baby Boomer's era. There is no redeeming basis for this marriage to have ever occurred. The lack of intellectual capacity in M&B (as evidenced by the banal conversations at Frank's party) compared to George and Martha and friends is pertinent to today's minds as they proceed through trials and tribulations of marriage. The utter lack of any fundamental basis of love throughout M&B's marriage in today's arena may indeed reflect the lack of intellectual development, hedonism, amorality, and many other missing elements of our former culture that seems more prevalent in today's society. Marriage, even if practiced dysfunctionally, seems to be far more absurd and disgusting when there is no development of any basic love concept all while selfish,non-intellectual, mundane, banal, and all other dark forces have become so influential in shaping personality. I'll take George and Martha any day because I know they, at the very core, loved each other very deeply. Chazz

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