vendredi 4 janvier 2008

I think I love my wife

One of the many pleasures of being on vacation is being able to watch a movie in the middle of the afternoon. Nothing says “I’m on vacation” more than watching a movie while the rest of the presumably productive world are off doing productive work things. Given such a frame of mind it is not hard to like a movie. I think I love my wife however succeeds all on its own. Written, directed and starring Chris Rock, the film is all about Richie and Brenda Cooper who have 2 children, a lovely suburban home and to all intents and purposes , a happy and loving marriage. A few minutes into the movie reveals however that they are in fact undergoing couples therapy because as Richie puts it “they’ve stopped having sex, and he stills wants to do it.” Nonetheless, they get along and Richie is able to keep his discontent at bay by covertly watching other women (never to a creepy extent since he is at heart a good man) and focusing at work. Into this fragile situation walks in Nikki True, an old friend, someone Richie once knew as a friend’s ex-girlfriend. As played by the talented Ms. Kerry Washington, Nikki is sexy, beautiful and wise to the weakness of men. She sees at once Richie’s vulnerability. In one memorable scene, she asks him if he is happily married and not convinced by his response, tells him that she hears ice cracking, the scariest sound in the world. That said, she very quickly sashays her way all over Richie’s life and taunts him by calling him Mr. Married Man. In essence she reminds him of what fun used to be and he is very quickly in over his head. It is a measure of his innate decency that he realizes the danger he is in, and takes pains to distance himself from Nikki and all she represents but not before he gets into various scrapes. The movie’s denouement is funny and moving and you find yourself rooting for Richie, crossing your fingers, waiting to see what choice he makes.
It is a funny, well written and well acted movie. It is also a quiet one that doesn’t try to impress with histrionics or dramatic confrontations. In fact there are hardly any dramatic confrontations, with a notable (and hilarious) exception where Richie ends up with a fist in his face. What it has done instead is to show the turns a marriage take with the choices that people make. It shows how a marriage can become less about blazing hot passion and more about a quiet serene love that ennobles and makes us better people, despite ourselves and people like Nikki True. There is a moral heart to this movie that doesn’t shout or preach, but shines through with the writing and the performances of the actors. A must see.

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