Entertainment Weekly - 03/14/2008
"McAdams is particularly delightful....MARRIED LIFE congratulates its audience on a sophisticated, humorous complicity in the obvious immorality of Harry's murder plans..." -- Grade: B
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2008
"Ira Sachs emerges as a director of undoubted panache in this stylish, cinematically sophisticated and slyly comic period thriller."
Premiere - 03/07/2008 3 stars out of 4 -- "Precision casting is a necessity for a specialty film like this and Sachs never steps wrong....The dance between the talented leads and Sachs' creative energy establish a baseline of quality that MARRIED LIFE never sinks below."
This melodramatic musing on the trials and tribulations of marriage features a small but talented ensemble cast that includes Patricia Clarkson, Chris Cooper, and Rachel McAdams. Set in 1949, the story opens into a picturesque, affluent suburb where Harry Allen (Chris Cooper) resides with his wife, Pat (Patricia Clarkson). But there's trouble brewing beyond the perfect picket fences. Harry has fallen deeply in love with a blonde beauty named Kay (Rachel McAdams). He confesses his secret to his longtime bachelor friend, Richard (Pierce Brosnan), and even introduces Richard to the lovely Kay. Unfortunately for Harry, Richard is instantly smitten, and makes up his mind that he will do whatever it takes to win Kay for himself. Harry, meanwhile, continues to plot ways to escape his marriage, though he fears leaving Pat will destroy her. He soon decides the most humane thing would be to dispose of her the old-fashioned way, with the aid of a little poison. While he debates on when to make his move, we learn that Pat actually has a few secrets of her own.
Cooper and Clarkson both give charming, multi-layered performances, expertly revealing the tortured emotions that hide behind their well-mannered 1940s façades. The film's recreation of the era is mesmerizing in its detail, with gorgeous costumes and an elegant set design. MARRIED LIFE has all the ingredients for Hitchcockian thrills, including a delicate blonde bombshell and a methodical murder plot. Yet the film daintily dances between black comedy and noir thriller, leading to a tidy, if rather anticlimactic end. The movie keeps you on your toes, but some might find themselves longing for a bigger payoff by the time the credits roll.
Description by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment:
A strong blend of suspense, star-crossed romance and wry comedy of manners, Married Life is an unconventional human drama about the irresistible power and utter madness of love. Harry (Chris Cooper) decides he must kill his wife Pat (Patricia Clarkson) because he loves her too much to let her suffer when he leaves her. Harry and his much younger girlfiend Kay (Rachel McAdams) are head over heels in love but his best friend Richard (Pierce Brosnan) wants to win Kay for himself. As Harry implements his awkward plan for murdering his wife, the other characters are occupied with their own deceptions. Like Harry, they are overwhelmed by their passions, but still struggle to avoid hurting others. Married Life is an uncommonly adult film that surprises and confounds expectations. While it plays with mystery and intrigue, its ultimate concern is: What is Married Life' In its sly way, Married Life poses perceptive questions about the seasonal discontents and unforeseen joys of of all long-term relationships.
Black Comedy |
Love Triangle |
Love Triangles |
Theatrical Release |