Thursday, October 2, 2014

Terrible secret, routine movie

Stephen King's A Good Marriage runs high on concept and low on psychological depth.

An intriguing premise isn't enough to make the movie fully credible. Instead of fearing for a wife (Joan Allen) who discovers a devastating secret about her husband (Anthony LaPaglia), we spend too much time wondering whether she's behaving in credible fashion.

Director Peter Askin presents the material in reasonably straightforward fashion, raising a bit of doubt about the sanity of Allen's Darcy. Is she right in thinking that her husband of 25 years actually is a rapist/serial killer who goes by the name "Beadie?"

The screenplay adds a bit of needed ambiguity by introducing a mysterious character (Stephen Lang) who seems to be stalking Darcy.

A Good Marriage belongs to Allen with LaPaglia chipping in what he can. He's playing Bob, a successful accountant, proud father of two grown children and a possible killer.

Neither Allen nor LaPaglia elevates material that lacks sufficient heft, and the movie turns into a bit of a tease, promising more than it delivers.

I'd call A Good Marriage a minor addition to King's big-screen oeuvre, a movie that might have been invigorated by a whopping and unexpected last-minute turn, but which fails to drum up enough dread -- or, more important, believability.

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