Okay, so we live in SA and don't own a TV. Maybe you've seen ads for this movie. And you've stayed away from it. Maybe not. Maybe you've heard of the book. Maybe not. Let me just say this was one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
At first I thought it was going to be a romance story, because of the picture on the front, and the HUGE letters saying "Watch Three-Times-In-A-Row Good!" I just assumed that it was, you know, a movie worth watching. So I grabbed it up for the Prince and I.
I don't think I could have been more wrong. **WARNING SPOILER ALERT**
This movie takes place in the 1950s. The whole plot revolves around this young (just 30) married couple that doesn't love each other anymore and are disappointed they never found out their full potential or followed their individual dreams.
The film opens on a scene that shows their first meeting. We never know who they were before this, nor are we even told they are already married, or for how long, as the next scene unfolds. I never had an emotional attachment to either of them, simply because I didn't know them at all.
The movie was an adaptation of a novel that portrayed one couple's experience when they married, settled for suburbia, and didn't follow their dreams. But this movie (IMHO) is extreme. There is something desperately wrong with this couple. They have two children, who never seem to be around, or hear them shouting at the top of their lungs at each other. It's unrealistic, and that, I think, makes the experience cheap. When a married couple with children are constantly arguing, there is always an affect on their children. But neither of them seem to care much about anyone except themselves.
The husband and wife are both suffering in the relationship, yet unwilling to do what it takes to get help or admit there is a problem. For a while there is hope because they start planning a grandiose scheme to get out of the mundane. I almost turned it off before that because it was so boring/unrealistic. But then I wanted to see if they followed through with it, which they don't, because they both seem bent on self-destruction.
Other characters are introduced that complicate things, and the insane guy (who's the only really honest person in the whole movie) is humorous in voicing his (very unwanted) observations. But he was pretty much the only interesting part of the movie. The whole time I'm thinking "this woman just needs to find an outlet. She needs to get out of her house and join a club of some kind, to give herself something to do." But I think she wanted so badly for her husband to see her neediness that she didn't want to do anything for herself. And I don't really care for people like that.
Things escalate when she gets pregnant with their third child, and obviously wants the move to Paris more than she wants the baby. (She has purchased an at-home abortion kit). I will be brutally honest and tell you the ending made me sick.
According to other reviewers, you have to watch the director's commentary to "get" a lot of what was done in the film. I thought that you were supposed to watch a film and "get it" without having to watch it again with annoying commentary. But that's just me. Maybe some people like watching deeply depressing and unrealistic movies twice. Just so they can "get it".
I DO NOT recommend this movie to anyone. I think the idea could have been done well, and maybe it was in the novel on which the movie is based. Certainly there are people who are suffering in their marriage, and have "what-ifs" (don't we all at times?), but eventually you have to get over that and live, really live, where you are. Your choices and actions do not affect only you. This story was just too depressing. Who wants to sit and watch people fight with and hurt each other for just under two hours? Not me.
And Kate Winslet's voice was annoying. She sounded like she was trying, with every breath, to display her disappointment with life, and her family- especially her husband. And no one else seemed to notice. Everyone else called them "That great young couple, the Wheelers".
Maybe you liked it or loved it. I certainly didn't.