We Don't Live Here Anymore


Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 6.3


Downloaded 613 times
12/8/2019 5:33:17 AM

101 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lawprof 9

Director John Curran&#39;s &quot;We Don&#39;t Live Here Anymore&quot; is a continuously sizzling, attention-holding drama about two couples - best friends - who are perched precariously in twisted relationships that threaten their marriages and imperil the security of their children.<br/><br/>Jack Linden (Mark Ruffalo) is married to Terry (Laura Dern) and they have two small children, a boy and a girl. Their closest friends, with whom they spend much (too much from my popcorn-munching perspective) time, are Hank Evans (Peter Krause) and Edith (Naomi Watts). They&#39;ve got one pre-teen daughter. Jack and Hank teach English literature and creative writing at a small college in the rural area where they live. Both aspire to be published authors of fiction.<br/><br/>Jack has a torrid affair going with Edith, who feels neglected by her husband. Maybe at heart she simply doesn&#39;t like him anymore, much less love him. Hank&#39;s a fellow who thinks that free love is a guiltless and fine option that should co-exist with marriage. He doesn&#39;t care if Edith engages in adulterous liaisons, a normal part of his married life. Actually he&#39;s an empty-headed ass. He certainly isn&#39;t in tune with contemporary legal standards about refraining from sexually-laced comments to female students. In addition to being an ass, it&#39;s fair to say he&#39;s a pig too.<br/><br/>Terry suspects the affair while also being pursued by Hank. Hank the skirt-chaser is imbued with a touch of sociopathy. No evidence of conscience or feelings about the harm he might wreak disturbs his calm mien. Kudos to Peter Krause for investing Hank with such single-minded devotion to self-gratification that the viewer constantly wonders, &quot;He&#39;s got to be a mensch, finally, no?&quot; No.<br/><br/>Terry and Jack&#39;s marriage is in a rut. Terry imbibes too much and as contrasted to Edith, as a housewife she&#39;s a bit of a sloven, a trait for which she&#39;s excessively berated by Jack. Ruffalo is alternately sympathetic and repelling as a guy auto-fast-forwarded to his mid-life crisis.<br/><br/>Surprise-as the relationships become more complex, psychologically and sexually, the kids, all three of them, are in the middle. Only Terry seems to understand, with the desperateness of a shipwrecked sailor clinging to a plank, that preserving her marriage is in her kids&#39; best interests if not necessarily her own.<br/><br/>Naomi Watts, who co-produced the movie, is beautiful and her dalliance with Jack is, for her, much more than a regular tumble for sexual diversity. She&#39;s alternately funny and deeply wistful, not fully in control of her world. A fine acting job.<br/><br/>But the emotional core of &quot;We Don&#39;t Live Here Anymore&quot; is the stunningly brilliant, ever remarkable Laura Dern, one of the greatest (and shamefully most underemployed) actresses working today. Dern&#39;s Terry is confused and desperate at times but her strongest, most ferocious belief is that the center must hold. Her center is her marriage and kids. And she loves Jack as no one else can and as he is too blind to appreciate.<br/><br/>Dern deserves an Oscar nomination for her fierce, gripping performance. Her facial expressions and her desperate pleading with Jack reflect a woman who isn&#39;t so much afraid of a marital breakup as she is hauntingly, achingly aware of what it will do to their kids. Pursued by Hank, rejected by Jack, Dern&#39;s Terry wavers but always hangs on to an inner strength the other three protagonists never had.<br/><br/>&quot;Bob &amp; Carol and Ted &amp; Alice&quot; decades ago parodied the sexual revolution that included, for some, mate swapping and adultery as - almost - a rite of passage for young, well-educated, affluent couples. &quot;We Don&#39;t Live Here Anymore&quot; updates the pseudo-sophistication of that portrayal and blazingly shows the human cost that may or may not make adultery worthwhile. The end here is as reassuring as viewers want (or need) it to be.<br/><br/>The cinematography is excellent. The score, ranging from Beethoven&#39;s Symphony No. 1 to bagpipe music to an almost minimalist accompaniment to critical scenes, is well integrated with Larry Cross&#39;s crisp screenplay. The original short stories by Andre Dubos are well adapted.<br/><br/>A powerful film, &quot;We Don&#39;t Live Here Anymore&quot; takes what could have been a &quot;B&quot; soap opera and through the brilliant acting of the quartet of leading characters brings to life an absorbing and meaningful story.<br/><br/>9/10

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Reviewed by Chris_Docker 7

A serious and emotionally engaging melodrama that tells of two marriages, of love, friendship, adultery, faithfulness, parenting, and the delicate balance between being true to the spirit within and being responsible about the consequences in the real world.<br/><br/>Mark Ruffalo and Peter Krause play two college tutors of English literature, working away and also trying to get published in their own right in their spare time. They are close buddies and have loving, beautiful wives (Naomi Watts and Laura Dern). We have four &#39;ordinary people&#39; who are far from caricatures ? they have sensitivities, intelligence, emotional aspiration and weakness as they struggle with their own stymied abilities to find happiness and fulfilment ? both for themselves and the ones they love.<br/><br/>We Don&#39;t Live Here Anymore looks at the reality of marriage in a less than rose-tinted light. The performances by Watts and Dern shine forth with increasing emotional intensity, and the efforts of their husbands to stage-manage some sort of acceptable compromise ricochet on the fringes of a dark despair that forever looms and threatens to engulf everyone. As the characters realise their increasingly complex shenanigans are verging on disaster, it leads them to ever deeper self-examination of their true feelings. And yet sometimes the children have a greater realisation of what&#39;s going on than do their parents. The film&#39;s closing scene (&quot;Because I can&quot;) reminds us that the element of choice, true and ongoing, is so often lacking in marriage, sometimes even in relatively small things ? once marriage has been consummated, the rest becomes duty ? and infidelity is often driven by compulsion - so the elements of ongoing freewill (jointly and singly) can be hard to find.<br/><br/>This movie has been compared to Closer and rightly so ? it is for mature, thinking audiences who can come to terms with deep imperfections and use the depths of what it takes to be truly human to make things better (or find a way forward that has emotionally honesty). The &#39;moral right&#39; will dismiss both films ? not so much out of a sense of superiority (&#39;adultery never pays&#39;) but simply through lack of understanding.<br/><br/>The heavy-going nature of the film is alleviated by shots of rare beauty in the surrounding countryside, elegantly photographed, and by the playfulness of the several children. Watts (nearly 38 but still looking 24) and Dern (who appears older, but attractive in a very different way) each show elements of femininity that their characters are desperate to satisfy ? the need to be wanted and the need to be loved. To appreciate the film it is necessary to see the scenarios from both the viewpoints of the women and of the men. Everybody cares about the kids. Beyond that, the love that is expected of the spouse is at odds with the love that they try to give, so they all feel like &#39;objects&#39; to their respective partners. The lack of understanding breaks down into infidelity, which (so the film might argue) can almost be a healing balm. &quot;It&#39;s much easier living with a woman who feels loved&quot;, remarks a cuckolded husband. It&#39;s a film where no-one has all the answers (though not for want of trying) and so in some ways a testament to humanity. Sadly, many will see it as just another cynical take on dysfunctional relationships, but the open minded viewer may find a lot more, for this film is a well-made (if not exceptional) work of art that contributes more to the understanding of the human condition than any cutesy, idealised portrayal of happy families.

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Reviewed by rblument-1 9

&quot;We Don&#39;t Love Here Anymore,&quot; based on two short stories by Andre Dubus, is a pared-down, very effective view of marriage and infidelity. If you are looking for an &quot;entertaining&quot; film, then go elsewhere. Dubus, author of the short story that the film &quot;In the Bedroom&quot; was based, is not out to entertain. He is into dealing with real people in situations that are catastrophic to one&#39;s life. John Curran, the director, peels away at the emotions of these 4 characters who share loveless relationships with their respective mates, with the exception of one of them. There is no flash, no melodrama, and no special effects (thank God). It is also beautifully filmed in the Vancouver, B.C. area, and the acting is top notch, especially the performance of Laura Dern. It&#39;s like watching an episode of Thirtysomething without all the smaltz and cutesiness. Highly recommended!!

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