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Cruel But Necessary (2005)

Cruel But Necessary is the story of Betty Munson's strange journey of self-discovery and soul-awakening in the traumatic years following the revelation, on videotape, of her husband's ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Wendel Meldrum ...
Betty Munson
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Doug Munson
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Darwin Munson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Albrecht ...
Betty's Assistant
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Alan
Esther M. Appel ...
Gramma
Ian Axness ...
Paul
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Umpire
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Danny
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Laura
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Chad
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Apartment Manager
James O'Connel ...
Teddy
Julie Payne ...
Pearl
...
Alan's Assistant (as Anya Scemama)
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Storyline

Cruel But Necessary is the story of Betty Munson's strange journey of self-discovery and soul-awakening in the traumatic years following the revelation, on videotape, of her husband's infidelity. Her marriage over, struggling to raise her teen-age son alone, Betty becomes driven to discover other secrets that may surround her and so she videotapes every aspect of her life during the gradual disintegration of her comfortable upper middle-class existence. Sometimes used as an eavesdropping device, other times as a confessional, Betty's camera dispassionately records the layers of family and personal dynamics. The film is seen entirely from the viewpoint of Betty's video camera resulting in a "surveillance tape" that is a kind of voyeurism of the absurd. Written by anon.

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Drama

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7 June 2005 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Wendel Meldrum's ex-husband and son, Mark Humphrey and Luke Humphrey, actually play her character's ex-husband and son in the movie. Portions of the movie were filmed in Meldrum's southern California home. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Enormous impact , humor and beauty
8 June 2005 | by (seattle) – See all my reviews

They say it is the tough times that define us. Today the breakup of a family is something that has touched almost all of us in one way or another. 'Cruel But Necessary' shows how one woman dealt with the disintegration of her marriage and her comfortable suburban life. The marriage breaks up as a result of an inadvertent family video and Betty the protagonist takes this instrument that showed her the cruel truth of her collapsing marriage and embraces it as a way of dealing with the pain.

Although this plot line sounds dark the movie is very funny. The true art of this movie and the reason you will feel such impact is that is never pulls any punches but you are laughing the whole time. The trajectory of Betty's life seems to be going steadily down. The incidents are genuine and you are irresistibly drawn into the crazy but courageous main character.

The lead is played by Wendel Meldrum who also wrote the screenplay. Her presence in the film is magnificent. It's not just her beauty and grace but also the range of her characterization. Clearly the director Saul Rubinek knew how to 'light' her to give us the feeling of what she was going through.

If your life has been really quite nice so far you might not 'get' this movie but if you've seen your share of rough spots this movie will be good for your soul.

The reason so many of us love the cinema is because every once in a while we get to see a movie like 'Cruel But Necessary'.


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