True to its name, “A Quiet Little Marriage” is a quite little drama. The low-budget indie stars non-stars Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Cy Carter as a happily married couple with the only-in-the-movies names of Olive and Dax. She’s a shop owner with virtually no customers; he’s an elementary schoolteacher.
With a home, good friends and their love for one another, they have everything. Except kids.
And that’s where they’re divided. With pal Monique (Melanie Lynskey) a new mother, Olive’s maternal instinct kicks into gear, if only first. Dax, however, has forever had his brakes on fatherhood, due to his terrible childhood “ something he wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Olive and Dax each enter into a lie “ she pokes holes in her diaphragm, he crushes birth control pills into her morning coffee “ without the other’s knowledge. If discovered, however, the acts of betrayal could tear them apart.
“Quiet” doesn’t ask much of the viewer, and doesn’t deliver much, either. This is a simple, straightforward, no-frills exploration of one average American couple’s relationship. It’s a tad too self-precious to be truly realistic, but it’s more honest than most. That’s why I wish writer/director Mo Perkins would’ve ditched the two distracting subplots “ an Alzheimer’s-ridden father (Michael O’Neill) and a drugged-out brother (Jimmi Simpson) “ and simply focused on the core. Simpson’s subplot in particular adds nothing, other than contributing to a too-convenient end.
For every plus, there’s a negative. Perkins’ frame-advance montages are nifty, but Dave Lux’s score is overbearing. Although their characters aren’t all that likable, Ellis and Carter make them decent. All in all, that’s the perfect way to describe this DIY effort. “Rod Lott