Movie Name: A Good Marriage
Studio: Reno Productions
Release Date(s): October 3, 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Darcy (Joan Allen) and her husband Bob (Anthony LaPaglia) look like the perfect couple. They’ve just celebrated their 25th anniversary and are getting ready for the upcoming wedding of their daughter when something changes. Darcy learns that Bob has been hiding a secret…he’s a serial killer. Now armed with the truth, Darcy must decide what to do with it…can she keep loving a man she’s never known?
Directed by Peter Askin, A Good Marriage is a horror thriller. The screenplay was written by Stephen King and adapts his short story which originally published in Full Dark, No Stars in 2010. The movie was released to mediocre to below average reviews.
There are two types of Stephen King stories: the supernatural ones and the ones that are potentially real. This is a “real” Stephen King story which King admits he partially based on the life of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer. This led to some controversy around the movie’s release in that some felt King was exploiting the situation for the film (even Rader’s daughter attacked the movie).
The movie itself unfortunately isn’t that good. It has a really potentially interesting storyline, but it feel crammed and unexplored. I would have liked the cat-and-mouse game of her knowing the truth and him not knowing to have gone on longer, and I would have liked him to be less of a psychopath when she did find out to really, really force the moral issues of “can I live with this” for Allen’s character. The movie also really loses momentum by having the film end…then go on for another thirty minutes with little direction.
Allen however does a great job as the tortured wife. She is likable and accessible as the wife forced to make a dark decision. While Anthony LaPaglia is good as the loving husband, I didn’t buy him as the over-the-top killer role. I don’t entirely blame him because I think the writing was pretty poor.
Visually, the movie was very, very average. The story isn’t a very visual story, but the effects of the movie feel pretty pedestrian. A powerful setting or some more dynamically shot scenes could have spiced up the movie, or a shooting style which play on the “average” couple by having it feel like a standard drama might have helped. The movie instead feels like TV movie drivel.
A Good Marriage is more disappointing in that you can really see potential in this story. I feel that if the story had been approached like something like We Need to Talk about Kevin, the movie would have been really good. Instead, we get a fight for survival and a mental battle we care little about despite Allen’s solid but desperate attempt to involve the viewer.
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