Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Movie Review: "A Good Marriage" (2014)

Director: Peter Askin
Year: 2014
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

A woman's seemingly perfect marriage is plunged into turmoil when she discovers her husband is a serial killer.

Movie still for the 2014 thriller "Stephen King's A Good Marriage" where Anthony LaPaglia kisses Joan Allen's hand while they are at dinner
"Are you my bad, bad girl?"
"Oh, are you my naughty boy?" (Image Source)
What would you do if you found out the person you spent the last few decades with turned out to be a psychopathic serial killer? That is the "high concept" question asked in Stephen King's "A Good Marriage." The film is directed by Peter Askin, who is known for directing critically panned films like "Company Man" and "Certainty." Darcy Anderson (Joan Allen) has been in a 25-year-long marriage to her husband Bob (Anthony LaPaglia), and things couldn't be better. He is the top accountant at his firm. She is a happy wife and mother whose biggest vice is eating too many Tootsie rolls. Their daughter (Kristen Connolly) is about to get married. She and Bob still have a playful spark that keeps their sex life active. There is just one problem: it turns out that Bob is a serial killer who has been responsible for the deaths of a dozen women over the years. Darcy has been unaware of this fact until one night when she stumbled upon some hidden irrefutable evidence that points right to Bob as a murderer. Now that she knows the truth, she struggles with what to do about it and worries what backlash it may cause her and her kids if her husband were to be exposed.
Stephen Lang watches Joan Allen's house from his car in a movie still for the 2014 film adaptation of "A Good Marriage"
"What's the worst thing that you ever did? (Image Source)
"Stephen King's A Good Marriage" boasts an excellent concept that would have made one killer psychological horror full of tension and twists and turns as Darcy wrestles with the personal torment of what she has found out about her husband. Unfortunately, that is not the movie we get. What gets delivered on-screen is a painfully dull, insufferable slog. The only decent thing about this film is Joan Allen, who tries her damnedest to breathe life into her role as a bland, uninteresting housewife. She puts everything she's got into this performance, which is the only reason this movie gets the points we've given it. Everything else around her is a lackluster misfire devoid of tension, intrigue, and mystery, and we're almost positive it's not Stephen King's fault. Director Peter Askin offers the audience no excitement and no suspense. The only thing he has to offer is nothing at all. Whenever something of interest starts to happen, it turns out to be a dream sequence. This happens on multiple occasions, and these moments made us roll our eyes so hard that we're pretty sure they're still semi-stuck in the back of our heads. "Ooooh, Anthony LaPaglia is strangling Joan Allen while she sleeps, how cool!!.....we wonder when Darcy's going to wake up startled from her nightmare this time!" What a lame cop-out! Speaking of Anthony LaPaglia, it's like every other actor in this project is in an entirely different film than Joan Allen. Despite being a serial killer, LaPaglia isn't intimidating or even mildly threating. And don't get us started on the actors who play their kids. They overact their roles so much that we liken their performances to the way children act in elementary school stage productions. Stephen Lang also stars in this movie, and his character Holt Ramsey is meant to be a menacing presence that pops up at the least opportune times for the Andersons. By the story's end, however, his character winds up serving virtually no purpose beyond giving Darcy a little bit of closure.
Stephen King's A Good Marriage 2014 movie still showing Anthony LaPaglia standing menacingly behind Joan Allen as she looks at him in the mirror
"Oh, Darcy, come on. Honey, this is not some, some movie where the psycho husband chases the screaming wife around the house." (Image Source)
In the end, Peter Askin fails to breathe life into what we assume was a rich source material in Stephen King's "A Good Marriage." What had the potential to be something positively intriguing and suspenseful in the right hands flails and flops in the wrong ones. And the ultimate sin, what a waste of Joan Allen's talents.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.2/10
RT Rating: 33%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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