A Good Marriage

Starring: Joan Allen, Anthony LaPaglia, Stephen Lang, Kristen Connolly, Mike O’Malley
Directed By: Peter Askin

One of those odd films that probably sets women back a few years as being the leading protagonist, yet actually ends up serving a satisfying ending. Do you ever watch a film, and you’re like “that’s not how I would have done it”, but their explanation for moving the story in that direction and how they wrap it all up actually kind of makes sense, even though you still kind of hate it? That’s this movie.

As you might have gathered from seeing any promo for this film at all, the plot involves a wife (Allen) who discovers the husband she loves so much (LaPaglia) is actually a serial killer. So where do we go from here? One might expect the rest of the film to be a cat and mouse game. She’s trying to hide secrets, trying to figure her way out. You’d be wrong. You might also expect the film to possibly take a “Hard Candy” approach and turn the tables on her husband. You’d be mostly wrong. Really, for most of the movie, she actually tries to move on with her life after the inconvenience of finding out her husband has killed twelve women. He swears he won’t kill her. Seems legit, right? She says she’s worried about how this will stigmatize her children. Well, OK. Fair enough.

While the second act may be infuriating, it kind of wraps it up in a well meaning third act that seems to make sense of all the decisions she’s made in the second act. So even though it wasn’t the movie I expected, or the movie I wanted to see, I can’t really be all that mad about it. In the end, somehow, someway… it all came together.

And its impossible to really be mad at Joan Allen. She’s just such a fucking tremendous actress. I couldn’t even type that without the word fucking, because that’s how good she is. She’s really an underappreciated version of Meryl Streep. I actually think she’s that good. I think it’s impossible to hate her. She always does a great job in anything. And Anthony LaPaglia’s pretty good here too. So the acting is on point.

It’s really a movie you’ll find frustrating, but potentially rewarding if you stick with it.


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