The late 1940s. Richard Langley, a bachelor playboy, narrates a story that starts when his best friend, Harry Allen, invites him to lunch to tell Richard he's in love. Trouble is, Harry's already married to Pat; he worries Pat would be hurt too deeply by a divorce. Then, Harry's new love, Kay, joins them. Richard is smitten, so when he finds out that Pat may be in love with someone else but won't tell Harry because she fears he would be too hurt, Richard can't decide if he should let all the cats out of the bag. He'd unite pairs of lovers, but he'd lose Kay. Meanwhile, Harry decides that a swift end to Pat's life would be more kind than divorcing her. He buys poison. Murder will out? Written by
John Bingham's novel, 'Five Roundabouts to Heaven', was adapted for "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" TV series as "The Tender Poisoner" (first aired 20.12.1962), by writer Lukas Heller. The 60-minute program featured Dan Dailey as Philip "Barney" Bartel, Jan Sterling as his wife Beatrice, and Howard Duff as their friend Peter Harding. See more »
Lots of fun - an adult movie that keeps you guessing about how the characters will understand themselves. A sort of farce, a sort of mordant comedy, driven by id, but on the surface well-mannered & careful, this film features a quartet of talented actors who consistently entertain & provoke us to think about what lies beneath our own happiness - or lack of it.
The weakest link is Rachel McAdams - luscious & pretty but not sexy-juicy. David Wenham is underused - he's such a creative, pithy, strongly male actor it's a shame his part isn't larger. Minor quibbles as the film works extremely well as it is. The sets & costumes are perfect, except that Brosnan's hair style is more '65 than '49, but maybe he's just ahead of his time.
Brosnan is excellent as slimy snake. Chris Cooper is great, & believable as a man driven more by his fantasies of love than by really feeling love. But why not a few hot necking scenes at least? For a movie about sex & love, there are NO sex/love scenes, except for one half-lit dark second or two.
Patricia Clarkson - wow - gorgeous, the most interesting character in the film really; nuanced, layered deep expression of real character. The wise one who sacrifices most - she's the one that really loves, despite her protests to the contrary.
See it - you will be entertained, provoked, & perhaps finally comforted, in a slightly twisted way.
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