by Becky T.
Starts July 10
Harry (Chris Cooper) believes that neither his wife Pat (Patricia Clarkson) nor his young, blond girl friend Kay (Rachel McAdams) could ever survive without him but he must make a choice. He confides his dilemma to his best friend Richard (Pierce Brosnan). Perhaps he should murder his wife; at least then she would be in peace, not suffering loneliness without him. Little does he know, but all involved have moved on beyond his wildest imagination. Richard, a lady’s man who looks too sexy in a hat, moves in on Kay, who considers her options and makes a good choice. Pat believes that sex and love are two different nouns, and sex is better modified by good-looking neighbor John (David Wenham).
This delicious story is based on the book Five Roundabouts to Heaven by John Bingham. It is a sophisticated black comedy about relationships, set in 1949, with costumes, cars and swing music to match. I expected Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, Jack Lemmon or Gregory Peck to pop up any minute. What’s more old-fashioned than owning the first television set in the U.S or smoking on screen? Some of my colleagues suggested that it would have been wittier if directed by Woody Allen, but it is just fine as it is. Allen hasn’t been all that witty lately anyway. All the actors are excellent but Rachel McAdams is a nice surprise – a better Scarlett Johannson. Director and scriptwriter Ira Sachs said, “In the end Harry is wiser and therefore able to love.” The film comes from successful showings at Sundance, New York and Toronto film festivals and is highly recommended, especially to viewers who appreciate films from the 40s and 50s with their little malicious darts at human nature.