Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A wry blend of dark humor, romantic deception, and stylish melodrama--with an invigorating dash of suspense--Married Life is an unconventional fable for grown-ups about the irresistible power and utter madness of love. After decades of marital contentment, Harry concludes that he must kill his wife Pat because he loves her too much to let her suffer when he leaves her. Harry has fallen hard for the young and lovely Kay, but his best friend Richard wants to win Kay for himself. As Harry implements his maladroit plans for murdering his wife, the other characters are entangled with their own deceptions. Like Harry, they race toward their passions but trip over their scruples, seemingly well-intended toward all, but truthful to none. Married Life is an uncommonly adult film that surprises and confounds expectations. Although it plays with mystery, comedy, 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 all long-term relationships. (Sony Pictures Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. In Married Life, Ira Sachs aims a bit lower than Green but obliterates his target: The funny, the scary, the campy, the sad--they’re all splendidly of a piece.
  2. Reviewed by: Ryan Stewart
    A collection of Hitchcock character-types trample over each other to win at love in Married Life, a quirky but entertaining period murder farce.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    It's a sly little fable with at least six very obvious homages to Alfred Hitchcock thrillers, and a dark little heart that happily hides under a double-breasted suit.
  4. An engaging romance noir, a sort of updated "The Postman Always Rings Twice" that packs its surprises into four characters, none of them predictable.
  5. 63
    Befitting a story about marriage, adultery and murder, all the characters in Married Life are constantly lying to each other. Sometimes they even lie to the audience.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Albeit slumming with style and a fairly sharp scalpel. Married Life delights in peeling back the bright postwar social veneer to expose the characters' hidden agendas, and if this is a mystery movie, the mystery is other people.
  7. 40
    Despite the cast's capable portrayals, it's difficult to connect with or care about any of these characters as, one by one, each stabs another in the back.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. JohnnyC.
    Apr 5, 2008
    Like most great films, this is a complex piece that often takes time and consideration -- and a second viewing -- Ira Sachs is an amazing filmmaker... the cinematic artist of this generation. Expand
  2. JayH.
    Aug 25, 2008
    Terrific cast, especially Chris Cooper and Patricia Clarkson. Compelling story, well directed. Good costumer and art direction, great score. Very interesting plot that held my interest throughout. Expand
  3. Aug 11, 2010
    Have you ever lied to someone you loved? Have you ever told them something about yourself wasn't true? Have you ever told them that you were working late when in reality you were not? Ira Sachs black comedy about marital woes and deception set against the backdrop of 1940's society is a bleak, smart and audaciously witty dramedy that leaves little to the imagination as it leads you down the road of murder most foul and deception most devious that plays better than it should and works better than you would ever expect. It is a story that an older generation can relate too as a younger one will overlook the film as dull and uninteresting. Let me tell you as a younger generation I completely sympathized and liked the characters even if they were all lying to each other it is fun to watch them skirt around the truth as they plot and scheme against one another in this twisted tale of love gone badly. Ira Sachs' "Married Life" is just as the title suggest it is about married life and the trials and tribulations that a married couple go through everyday the ups and downs Ira Sachs' blunt dramedy doesn't let you off the hook easy when it comes to theses themes but you won't shy away if that's what you think. It is very easy on the eyes, but as I said before most of the elder generation may find this film hard to watch as someone in their life has been cheated on or they themselves been cheated. it's a touchy subject believe me, but here that is not the case it's more about how love can easily fall apart as easily as it can be built, how the choices we make can affect the ones we love and how sometimes when we least expect it you fall in love with the last person you would expect. Ira Sachs shows us suburban life in the 40's that we seldom see today his film is a homage to the dark screwball comedies of the golden era and also a tribute to film noir with its stark lighting, it's wickedly sharp narrative and dialogue and gloomy undertones that give it that old time feel. What makes a film special is heart if a film has no heart it has no soul if a film has no soul it has no character and if a film has no character than what is it? I'll tell you nothing more than people walking around talking lines that should mean something and should leave a lasting effect, while "Married Life" doesn't leave a lasting impression on audiences it gives them a zany and quirky look into the love lives of four very normal yet strange individuals. I liked the atmosphere, I liked the style of the film how it worked but what I liked most of all was the narration by Pierce Brosnan it wasn't just about him but also about Harry(Chris Cooper) and his wife Pat(Patricia Clarkson). The narration doe not leave you out in the cold or leave you without answers to your questions and that to me is a major accomplishment of this film and one of the key highlights of the story and plot. What I did not like, and to me what almost undid all of this films accomplishment was the uneven pace if a little more even it would have been a great movie instead of good.

    Ira Sachs' "Married Lifeâ
  4. ChadS.
    Mar 21, 2008
    Call Kay(Rachel McAdams) the accidental femme-fatale. With that head of tightly-wounded platinum blonde hair, no matter how discreetly she enters the restaurant, in which two men sit; one married, one not, Kay can't help but cause a commotion. But Kay is depressed. Despite having the appearance of a sexually voracious woman who would drive an ice pick through a man's neck, she's actually a nice girl. She's looking for love, not money, which makes "Married Life" an atypical film noir. For starters, Harry(Chris Cooper) has a legitimate claim on his wife's life without ever knowing it. He almost commits a crime of incubating passion. What is going through Harry's mind when he looks outside the window of his bedroom? This is when the narrative in "Married Life" takes a wrong turn. It doesn't capitalize on the irony of the moment. Another matter to keep in mind is how the narrator(Pierce Brosnan) influences our feelings about Harry. Everything that could possibly go wrong for the protagonist, goes wrong, but "Married Life" breaks this most basic of tenets in film noir, when it confuses Richard's biased opinion about Harry(Richard justifies his friend's murderous intentions) with the cold, hard fact that he wanted his wife dead. Richard is a fallible narrator. Since he put a knife in his best friend's heart, he doesn't want to assasinate his character, too. The narration conspires with the narrator to make Pat look like the bad person. That's why "Married Life" goes out with a whimper, instead of a bang. Expand
  5. StephenS.
    Aug 3, 2008
    If you reckon your partner