Reviewer’s grade: C+
Chris Cooper (“American Beauty”) stars as Harry Allen, a happily married, middle-aged stockbroker who seeks the affections of a younger woman for obscure reasons. His wife, Pat (Patricia Clarkson, “Lars and the Real Girl”) is too nice to be simply cast aside, so Harry decides the kindest thing he can do is kill her and spare her the pain.
Things are complicated by Harry’s friend Richard Langley (the oddly-cast Pierce Brosnan, “Remington Steele”) when he falls for Harry’s girl Kay (Rachel McAdams, “Wedding Crashers”) and decides to steal her before Harry can act out his plan. “Married Life” boasts good actors (especially Cooper and Clarkson) and a visually interesting setting (an unnamed city in 1949), but the premise itself is overly cute and stretches the jaws of credibility too wide to be palatable. Nothing is really resolved in the end except confirmation that the “certainties” in life are often illusion and nice guys finish last, even when they’re trying to kill someone. PG-13