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 »
Ira Sachs's dark comedy 'Married Life' is an intriguing little film set in the 40s/50s. Dealing with complex relations, it somewhat portrays the men as selfish and the female as hungry for love...but there are layers and it's not all so black and white. What's also interesting is the unusual cast that includes Pierce Brosnan, Patricia Clarkson, Chris Cooper and a refreshing Rachel McAdams. Though the pairing between McAdams and Brosnan is awkward, the chemistry works better between her and Cooper. Brosnan seems miscast but not to the extent that it ruins the film experience. McAdams is beautiful and pulls off her part quite well but it is Clarkson and Cooper who give the best performances. I'm also surprised that people have taken this film too seriously (to the point that they missed the humour which I thought was creatively done and hilarious). The element of drama is there but how could one miss the comedy? Sach's writing is superb and the direction is solid. I liked how the events unfold and Coopers's character's attempts to get what he wants and his surprise reaction towards the unexpected results. I find the title a little misleading. Yes, the film is about a 'dying' marriage and its complexities but the title is a little too vague and the film focuses on much more than marriage. The score gracefully brings the feel of the 40s. Overall, Sachs has made a clever unconventional black comedy in a period piece.
11 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?