Can This Marriage Be Saved? (With apologies to the Ladies’ Home Journal)
John’s turn: We got married before we really knew each other. Now I wonder whether we’ll ever know each other. She always seems so controlled and controlling. I told her I didn’t like the drapes, but she doesn’t listen to me. We actually have dinner conversation about peas. Basically, I’m bored.
Jane’s turn: He never pays any attention to the things that matter to me. he doesn’t even remember how long we’ve been married. I just can’t talk to him. I don’t think we have anything in common.
The counselor’s turn: Jane and John had a strong attraction and married quickly without really understanding each other. Now they find little to say to each other. I think what they need is to find something they can do together.
Well, finding something they have in common and can enjoy doing together is what this movie is about. It seems that Jane (Angelina Jolie) and John (Brad Pitt) Smith have more in common than they know. They are both world-class assassins for hire. And when both are sent on the same hit and both fail, they are assigned to take each other out, and I don’t mean to a movie. Now that’s bringing your work home with you, big time.
Some movies illuminate the human condition. Some make us laugh and some make us cry. Some just show us beautiful people blowing stuff up, and that’s as good a reason to buy a ticket as there is, especially in summer. I suppose someone could try to make this movie a metaphor for the modern marriage and the challenges of communication and keeping love vital and new, but we will only pause there long enough to allow it to make us feel a little more comfortable about the fact that our two lovebirds have killed more than 400 people. What matters here is that Jolie and Pitt have sizzling chemistry and are clearly enjoying themselves and that director Doug Limon (The Bourne Identity) knows how to make action scenes work (and when to stop worrying about whether the plot makes any sense). After all, what’s more important — that we remember why any given character is shooting at another or that everything stops in the middle for Jane and John to do a tango? I rest my case.
Parents should know that despite its light, cartoonish tone, this movie has extensive and graphic “action” violence and peril, pushing the edge of the PG-13. The main characters are paid assassins and we see them killing and trying to kill lots of people. There is some strong language and there are some PG-13-ish sexual references and situations, including a bondage outfit.
Families who see this movie should talk about why it was hard for Jane and John to communicate and trust one another and what will be likely to happen to them in the future.
Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Prizzi’s Honor, a more serious look at a similar situation. They might also enjoy a sweet WWII-era film about a boring couple who discover a great deal about themselves and each other when they join the war effort, Perfect Strangers.