When a woman tries to outwit her husband's sexy young mistress, the unexpected consequences include starring as King Lear in a very amateur production - with the mistress, an aspiring actress, playing The Fool.
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William T. Bolson
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Two women who meet by chance make a pact to fix their unhappy lives: they will each do what the other one says. But one of them has a secret. She knows her husband is sleeping with the younger woman. Madelyn's plan backfires when Lucy, an aspiring actress, orders her to play King Lear in a very amateur production, with Lucy playing the Fool. Madelyn's life is transformed in unexpected ways as, like Lear, she struggles with matters of mortality and betrayal, loyalty and love. Written by
Stunning at times, but uneven. A perky quirky treat worth seeing.
If I Were You (2012)
Be carefulthe first twenty minutes of this movie is so bad (or bad seeming) with improbable dialog and kind of "stupid" characters (and maybe inept actors). Or so it all appears. Keep watching. This smooths out quickly, and you get used to the farcical style, so that by the end it all seems normal and pretty fun.
The idea is simple, and explained really well in the movie. Two women find they can't make good decisions for themselves, so they agree to make decisions for each other. Big stuff, like whether to date someone, or what to say to end a relationship. And so when a biggie comes up they have to call the other person for instructions.
This is tied together brilliantly by a simple first scene (which doesn't give much away, but skip this paragraph if you want the first five minutes of the movie untouched). One woman sees her husband cheating on her with the other (younger) woman. The older woman then sees the younger buy the stuff for a suicide, so follows her to save her. The younger woman thinks this is absolutely beautiful (which it is). And the friendship and the pact are formed.
But of course there is this secret lingering, and a husband who calls (and gets calls from) the two women for different reasons.
As you can imagine, the complications are hilarious.
The other theme that gets going is King Lear, the play, and how the two women get involved with that and why. It's a nice layer that actually doesn't get used very well until near the end when the older woman gives a eulogy quoting the Shakespeare she's been learning. The fellow actors are all terrible on purpose, but they are also thin and clumsy in the movie, especially the director who overacts to distraction.
By contrast, our two women play their roles to a kind of comic perfection. The older, played by Marcia Gay Harden, is actually the key protagonist, and is wonderful. Her younger friend, Leonor Watling, is terrific, too, and a perfect complement. Whatever the other outcomes of the movie, you end up hoping these rivals become good friends.
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