Monday, September 8, 2008

I Think I Love My Wife (2007)

Maybe I Think I Love My Wife didn’t put me to sleep, but I can understand why it didn’t do well at the box office. By starting off with an unappealing title, this film was doomed from the very beginning. It is unfortunate, because there are actually many redeeming qualities to this film. This is not a film that I feel would appeal to a large audience because it is formulaic and predictable. However, the comedic elements inserted into this film appealed to me, which tilted the balance from a non-recommendation to a moderate recommendation. I Think I Love My Wife is a 2007 remake of a 1972 French film titled Love In The Afternoon. I did not see the original film, so it is impossible for me to draw any comparisons between the two films. The story revolves around a married banker who is experiencing the “seven year itch.” The film is narrated by Chris Rock, who plays the central character, Richard Cooper. Cooper spends his morning commute and lunch breaks fantasizing about the smorgasbord of women that he encounters throughout the day. His love life has been sex free for too long and has not benefitted from Marriage Counseling (where Cooper advises the counselor that his wife’s panties are too big...the biggest thing on her panties should be the tag...”Tag and A-- is all I want to see” is his assessment of the situation.) An old pre-marriage female friend emerges from nowhere to test Cooper’s marriage. Cooper begins slipping at home and slipping at work while trying to figure out what he really wants. His internal struggles lead to many humorous moments and situational comedy. The writing in this film was not as fresh as it could have been. There is a prolific use of the “F” word that almost becomes intolerable. A cautiously placed swear word can add effect to a movie. But when you use it a hundred times it loses it’s affect. I think the script could have withstood some major editing to find a more creative way to elicit laughs than tawdry language. Don’t get me wrong, Chris Rock as a way of using the “F” word creatively. But it shows the lack of imagination in the script writing. The characters are somewhat flat, but a few of them are interesting. Cooper’s friend George (Steve Buscemi) provides a great balance to the story line. Buscemi is a brilliant actor who I enjoy immensely. This film was no different. George lectures Cooper on his dalliances which leads Cooper to question George’s own sexual trysts. George explains to Cooper in matter-of-fact fashion that he can sleep with another woman and still come home and kiss his wife like nothing ever happened...something he feels Cooper is incapable of. Buscemi provided an instant credibility to that sentiment. Something in Buscemi’s delivery makes this character likable and interesting. The dialogue offered some comedy along with the vulgarity. I found the dialogue to be acceptable but nothing special. The plot was predictable, but did offer some sub-plots that were interesting diversions. The sub-plots did not feel like time filler to stretch the length of the movie, which is a good thing. The characters were just barely believable enough for me to care about the outcome.


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