Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Darling Wife

Author(s): Masnoraffis Masdil
Location: Singapore

"My Darling Wife"

Directed by Rob Reiner
Written by Nora Ephron
Original Score by Marc Shaiman

Principal Cast:

Hugh Jackman (George Barrett)
Uma Thurman (Linda Barrett)
Stanley Tucci (Joseph Douglas)
Jennifer Garner (Jennifer White)
Marcia Cross ("Lovely" Douglas)
Shirley Knight (Melinda Barrett)
Mark Ruffalo (Craig Williams)

Tagline: “When your husband runs off, what do you do?... Show him what a real woman can do”

Synopsis: "My Darling Wife" is a film revolving around a man’s infidelity, his falling in love and going out of wedlock. How does the beleaguered wife win back her husband form the clutches of the vamp?

George Barrett (Hugh Jackman) is a happily married man who loves his wife and kids. He is satisfied with his life but misses the spice in his married life. His wife Linda (Uma Thurman) has very little time to go out with her husband, as she is busy with performing the duties of a good housewife.

Jennifer White (Jennifer Garner) is an over-ambitious model who wants every luxury in life. She believes the easiest way to glory is to marry a billionaire. For fulfilling her dreams, she even rejects the marriage proposal from her best friend, Craig (Mark Ruffalo).

George is the owner of an Advertising Agency and signs Jennifer as a model. George starts liking her and does not think it wrong to spend some of his time fooling around with her. He plans a trip to Switzerland with her and is able to convince his family that he would go alone on the trip. He takes Jennifer along with him.

At the airport, George meets his best friend, Joseph (Stanley Tucci), Joseph's wife Lovely (Marcia Cross) and his son. To his horror, he learns that they too are going to Switzerland. Joseph comes to know of George's extra marital affair with Jennifer.

Lovely spills the beans about George and his marriage. Jennifer is still blinded by her lust for money and does not mind it. George buys a house, car etc. for Jennifer to keep her happy. But the truth comes out of the closet to Linda. She asks him to choose between the family and Jennifer. Unfortunately, George opts for the latter.

Joseph promises Linda to get George back to his house, where he should be. Linda and Joseph chalk out a plan to accomplish their mission. With help from her mother in-law, Melinda (Shirley Knight), and her children, Joseph and Linda are going to make George realize that he made a mistake in leaving Linda.

What the press would say:

Rob Reiner is back in fine form! Laced with a pleasant "but don't take me too seriously" theme, great comedy and super-duper starcast, "My Darling Wife" hits you with unexpected charm. By the time you leave the theatre, it will have you smiling from ear to ear.

Reiner has done a decent job of dealing with a difficult subject. Building the tale around a series of comedic instances, not worrying about being provocative (showing scenes of the extra-marital affair), and still getting the message across, was a difficult task. Rob Reiner deserves acknowledgement for giving the women ample power in this charming story.

While talking about women, each of the film's female characters are rendered to perfection by the talented actresses. Uma Thurman may not look like a mother of two offspring, but she continues to mature as an actress with each successive film.
Jennifer Garner opens the film with a fantastic modelling session for all the males in the audience, but she backs all that beauty by again demonstrating that she has the acting potential to join the rat-race. Jennifer's portrayal as a damsel in ethical distress, is most convincing.

Marcia Cross and Shirley Knight provide the much-needed comic relief in the movie, and man, do you wish there were more of them in the flick. With the support of her screen husband, Lovely steals every frame in her twenty minute appearance. I love the character and it proves that Marcia Cross is one of Hollywood's most underutilized treasures. Shirley Knight adds comical conviction to the scheming mother character who will not rest until she breaks her son and Jennifer apart.

Stanley Tucci is also credible as a Joseph. Poor guy is first torn between helping his friend hide the affair, but is later bound by his conscience to help Linda regain her family life. And the chemistry between Marcia Cross and Stanley Tucci is electric; it must be seen to be relished. Now that's a perfect screen couple and gladly, the movie ended with them.

Hugh Jackman plays the role of an intellectually challenged playboy. George's comical, self-loathing monologue at the end of the movie is very amusing and entertaining.

All in all, this movie is a great entertainer plus it features excellent acting and a great storyline. It's the great comedy movie of the year!
For Your Consideration

Best Picture
Best Director: Rob Reiner
Best Screenplay: Nora Ephron
Best Original Score: Marc Shaiman
Best Actor: Hugh Jackman
Best Actress: Uma Thurman
Best Supporting Actor: Stanley Tucci
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Garner
Best Supporting Actress: Marcia Cross
Best Supporting Actress: Shirley Knight
Best Film Editing: Robert Leighton
Best Art Direction: Thomas E. Sanders
Best Cinematography: John Toll
Best Costume Design: Peter Deming

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