A down-and-out film producer agrees to make his nephew's film about 19th century English statesman Benjamin Disraeli, but can only get financing if he casts a well-known action star. ... See full summary »
Louise wants to find a way to reconnect with her husband, Ian, who is divorcing her after many years of marriage. But when she surprises him at their country home, she is more than slightly dismayed that the roses and romantic set-up are not for her but for his much younger mistress. Louise takes matters into her own hands, and abducts Ian duct-taping him to the toilet, where he must admit to his true feelings and he is unable to leave her. Things grow exceedingly awry for everybody when a burglar shows up at their house, and then everybody must discover and admit to their true feelings.Written by
Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton co-started together before in the 1995 film French Kiss, in which the opening plot was similar; he was leaving her for another woman and she was trying to win him back. See more »
In the scene where Sara arrives and Louise has to tape Ian, the tape almost touches his left side-burn while, when coming back to the house the tape now is far from it. See more »
[on the phone]
I threw heck to the wind and drove up to the country a day early, want to surprise Ian, spend the long weekend with him. So, I need you to call Metler and tell him that the papers were filed yesterday and everything is fine, and I will talk to him first thing on Monday morning. Then call my dentist, cancel my appointment, and reschedule it for Tuesday afternoon. And then cancel my meetings for the rest of the day. You know what to do, that's why you ...
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In the opening credits Timothy Hutton is referred to as Tim Hutton See more »
Off-Kilter Elements Keeps Things Afloat in Adrienne Shelly's Swan Song as a Screenwriter
It's been a full two decades since Meg Ryan emerged from a series of background girlfriend roles to become America's Sweetheart in 1989's "When Harry Met Sally ", but in this strangely conceived 2009 comedy, she still has that undeniable twinkle in spite of all the age-defying cosmetic alterations to her face. The screenplay is the last work of the late actress Adrienne Shelly, who wrote, directed, and co-starred in 2007's agreeably idiosyncratic "Waitress", and what they have in common is her supple dexterity in balancing the off-kilter elements of her stories into something deeper. This time, she takes a darker, less whimsical path in exposing the insidious nature of a marriage that has dissipated from a lack of communication. Her "Waitress" co-star Cheryl Hines ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") takes the helm in her directorial debut, and her lack of experience may attribute to the fact that it feels more like a filmed stage play despite Nancy Schreiber's expert cinematography.
The brief story focuses on married couple, Louise and Ian, on a day when they unexpectedly cross paths at their bucolic vacation home. A high-powered fortyish attorney, she comes home to find her house showered romantically with rose petals and Ian writing a Dear Jane letter to her. He has decided after thirteen years of marriage that he wants a divorce, so he can rendezvous with his 24-year-old girlfriend Sarah in Paris. Unwilling to accept that her marriage has gone kaput, Louise inadvertently knocks him out with a flower pot and takes advantage of his unconsciousness in order to duct tape him to a chair until he relents. This is the beginning of a roundelay in which they spar about the merits of their marriage. Ian spends most of the 84-minute running time stuck on the toilet as he faces one humiliation after another. Even though Louise exhibits vaguely sociopathic behavior, she does not represent the only threat to Ian.
There is a nasty twist to the story in the form of an interloper that turns their vituperative cat-and-mouse game into a game of survival. The open ending doesn't quite satisfy, although the implications that it raises lends texture to what has gone on before. Ryan acquits herself well as Louise, and although it's not remarkable work, it shows that the actress could thrive into middle-age with her fizzy spirit intact. She manages to give heart to the tenacious hold her character has on her flailing marriage. In a welcome big-screen return as Ian, Timothy Hutton does what he can under a lot of duct tape in a mostly passive role with moments of vented exasperation, while Kristin Bell ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall") shows surprising grit as Sarah, especially toward the end when the women grapple on the bathroom floor. Justin Long provides a menacing edge to the smallish role of the lawn-mowing low-life. More than Hines' workmanlike direction, Shelly's somewhat uneven screenplay offers enough dark elements to make the contrived set-up worth accepting for the sake of the unfolding story she wanted to tell.
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