A Good Marriage (18)
Directed by: Peter Askin
Starring: Joan Allen, Anthony LaPaglia & Stephen Lang
Running time: 102 mins
After 25 years of a good marriage, what will Darcy do once she discovers her husband’s sinister secret?
A Good Marriage, based on the novella by Stephen King, who also wrote this screenplay, is a thriller of a different sort. Bob (LaPaglia) and Darcy Anderson (Allen) celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in style, surrounded by family, friends and work colleagues. To all intents and purposes, the Anderson’s are a normal family.
But scratching beneath the surface, Darcy finds her husband’s dark secret; he murders and tortures young women. Upon discovering this, Darcy is left with a choice; stand by her husband or turn him in.
For a thriller, there are no real jump out of your seat moments, but it is a journey into the psyche of Darcy. This is a person who clearly is struggling with this horrendous news and yet she seems to be crying one minute then laughing with her husband the next. I personally found this difficult to take in, given that the news reports and crime photographs left nothing to the imagination of what her husband was capable of.
Anthony LaPaglia perfectly switches from loving and carefree husband to violent murderer in an instant, though thankfully we are spared the full extent of watching his atrocities. Joan Allen however, seems to virtually sleepwalk through parts of this movie. There is a little build up to her discovering her husband’s dark secret nor what happens after
The script has a few punchy literary quotes, but is not in the least memorable. Neither is the climax and the viewer cant help but feel that perhaps there was more to this in the original source novel. Director Peter Askin has made this on a shoe string budget, yet it doesn’t look cheap in anyway, which is to the credit of both the Director and Cinematographer. It’s sadly the script that lets this film down.
A Good Marriage has none of the charm or punch the air sentiment of The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile; neither does it have the lingering questions of Apt Pupil. Instead, it’s a fairly by the book TV thriller.
Fans of Stephen King’s horror genre will most certainly want to give this a miss as, perhaps, will fans who enjoy a taught, edge of your seat thriller, which this certainly is not.
2 out of 5 Nerds