User ReviewsReview this title
Edward Burns is the Writer/Director/Actor/Tea & Sandwich Maker & etc. playing genial Buzzy. With his reedy voice and understated charm Burns reminds me of Gene Kelly - who he physically resembles but for an extra twelve inches in height. He's a regular guy working as a trainer at a gym. He has a prim, young and well-to-do wife, Katie (Caitlin Fitzgerald). We're informed early on that despite the fact they don't see much of each other the relationship thrives on this. We have to be told the fact because we don't actually see it in the 90 minute span of the film. Still, you have to bear it in mind as one of the questions the film poses is rather like that old joke: Should a married couple be Frank and Earnest? ("No, one of them should be a girl!" is the answer they give in Utah). For despite being newlyweds they are safe and contented. Their personalities and personal situations don't seem to allow for doubt and jealousy, drama and, perhaps, passion. And as neither is particularly big on self-analysis or inveterately curious about the other much has been left untouched and undiscovered. There is a lot of talk about 'telling the truth' and being 'honest' while wordlessly asking the question 'about what?' The major catalyst comes in the shape of Buzzy's sister Linda who has come to New York from the west coast to get an old boyfriend back (played by Kerry Bishé – who wins a gold star on her resume for a terrifically deft portrayal of a girl who's immature, unstable, provocative, self absorbed, heartbroken and a dozen more things I can't think of the words for). Throw in Katie's ex husband and her bickering sister and spouse and you have a tight ensemble cast who seem to be having a lot of fun with their characters and manage to present them in a way that allows us to criticize them but never come near to hating them.
Something I love about the film: Burns has developed the Annie Hall faux documentary interviews to a new level that follow relevant scenes to behave rather like the person's conscience speaking. I know Kurt Vonnegut had a gripe about writers telling us what a person thinks but I've never had a problem with it (if a writer can tell us what underwear someone is wearing they can sure as hell tell us what they're thinking). But how do you do it in film? Having every character doing voice-overs would be dumb. So while we might wonder what the real motives of characters are in some of the emotional exchanges the 'interviews' act as a clarifying narrative. OK, I'm assuming they are telling the truth as far as they see it. I'm assuming a lot. That's the way it came across to me. And this has an intriguing effect on the way you feel (I felt) about the outcome. You may not be sure how all of the plot lines are going to unfold but you don't dread a negative outcome due to these personality building blocks that give it all a sense of karma.
This is the most accomplished of Burns' films that I've seen. It has a grace and polish that makes me disbelieve stories of how quickly it was made. Surely there was a lot of workshop rehearsal work before shooting? Good film making just can't be this easy.
The film has a simple premise, a newlywed couple spend a couple of days of drama with the wacky in-laws and then must come to terms with their own relationship and it's newly discovered quirks.
I love the in camera, documentary-style confessions of the characters. It allows for added depth and contrast to what the audience sees. And the performances are dead on. No wooden acting. Very fresh and real dialog with a quick moving story.
The last Ed Burns' film I saw was She's The One, and then after seeing Confidence I kinda lost track of him. I am glad I saw this film, just to know that he's still doing quality stories. Now I gotta go back and see what I've missed.
Highly recommended to those who miss the character and heart in the current big budget crap coming out of Hollywood. Kudos to Ed Burns and crew.
It's a smart comedy where the humour is born from the characters and the dialogue. Buzzy (Edward Burns) and Katie (Caitlin Fitzgerald) are in their first year of marriage and are trying to be down-to-Earth and realistic about it. Communication and not spending much time with each other is key. On the converse, Buzzy's best friend Max and Katie's sister Marsha are in their eighteenth year of marriage and they are disgusted by Buzzy and Katie's attitude. Marsha can't stand Buzzy and that's what it all comes down to.
I was originally a little put-off by the documentary-styled revelations and worried that an entire movie about the differences between two couples would become irritating quickly. But that's exactly when a new wrench was thrown into the mix in the form of Linda (Kerry Bishé), Buzzy's sister. In the beginning we had husband versus sister-in-law where somehow the sister managed to keep herself on the side of "right", but now we have wife versus sister-in-law and nobody is going to get out of that catfight unscathed.
I was constantly delighted with how each character would respond to Linda's antics – which involves a lot of guy-obsessed drunken behaviour. Their passive-aggressive covers devolved into semi-aggressive acts. And just like in "Carnage", it still remains funny.
I wouldn't be surprised if some people take offense to the writing of the female characters in this film as they were all despicable in their own way. Edward Burns' Buzzy was the only one written so "cool" that he remained likable and sympathetic throughout, or at least to me.
I've been an Edward Burns fan since "The Brothers McMullen" (1995) and it's impressive how he keeps letting his writing shine through. Made for only $9,000 "Newlyweds" is on the skimp side of settings and shot set-ups, but as this proves you really only need a handful of characters who come to life to make a good film.
Plainly, "Newlyweds" is awful -another nail in the coffin of independent film. Made cheaply in digital, it's a groan-inducing faux documentary that looks a lot like "Husbands and Wives" minus Woody's insight and wit. Yeah, that's it! Let's make "Husbands and Wives Too." Grab a Prosumer camcorder. Hire some really bad actors. ACTION!!! Then add lots and lots of ar ty ju mp-cut s.
It's crude for crude's sake: as if a naughty ten year old just learned the words 'fuck' and 'blowjob' and gets a thrill at the shock of constantly saying them.
Here, Burns is again a working class Peter Pan, incessantly navel gazing... wait. Who cares? There's no one in this no-name (except for Burns), untalented (including Burns) cast who lands anywhere near the Universe of endearing. They instead warp straight to Nasty.
You'll enjoy this film if you're a masochist who derives jollies from an alleged comedy inhabited by characters kvetching about trivia.
Please, please, I beg of you. Promise you'll stay away. Please. (Reviewers with positive comments are either insane, plants or cast members.)
Edward Burns delivers an ultra low budget indie. He uses the faux documentary concept. It is surprisingly well made. The characters are fun. He's trying for Woody Allen adjacent. It's not big laughs but it's loads of fun. I really like the Burns FitzGerald chemistry. FitzGerald is funny as frantic. Their struggles are endearing. It's one of Burns' better work.
I would watch this again... I have seen Purple Violets several times, which is another Ed Burns film. That is a fantastic movie as well. I liked Newlyweds just as much as Purple Violets and I liked both of those a bit more than Nice Guy Johnny. That might give this review perspective.
Overall, a well made, interesting film that has left me wanting more of these characters. Perhaps a cable/web series to expound on these characters. Congrats EB!!!!
Writer shows a complete lack of class by continuing the Hollywood trend to write scripts with the filthiest language repeated as many times as the screenwriter can us these words rather than showing any talent to use the written word for meaningful dialog.
Next time try to actually use the entire English language to write the screenplay and you might actually have an interesting and entertaining movie not a movie your mother would be ashamed to go see.
Buzzy and Katie have it all figured out - now that they've learned from bad first marriages, don't have to spend too much time together, tell each other everything, and have great sex. What could possibly screw up this ideal new marriage? All together now, we that have been there - FAMILY. Enter Buzzy's wayward, heartbroken, irresponsible, and unexpected sister Linda. Then throw in the marriage death throes of Katie's sister Marsha and husband Max who haven't had sex in 15 years. Suddenly secrets sneak in, sex is withheld, loyalties are tugged in opposite directions, and bath towels are enough to cause a wonderfully realistic meltdown.
When I saw, after watching, that Edward Burns had written, directed, cast, and made this spot-on life-as-it-really-is movie for under $10,000, I was awe stuck. Thanks, sir. I loved it.