BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY (2014)

rockwell

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Ben Schwartz, Ray Liotta, Jane Fonda

Directed by: Geoff Moore and David Posamentier

Synopsis: A strait-laced pharmacist’s uneventful life spirals out of control when he starts an affair with a trophy-wife customer who takes him on a joyride involving sex, drugs and possibly murder.

This film has been on my watchlist for a while now, with a great cast and a promising premise, but to be honest, it really was ho-hum at best. After I had the pleasure of watching the low-budget, independent gem Beach Pillows recently, something like this lazy effort really was a disappointment.

Sam Rockwell plays put upon chemist Doug Varney, who is a figure of amusement and apathy for his dominating wife and troubled teenaged son. His life is less than ordinary, he goes to work each day, listens to customers health problems, prescribes some medication and goes home to be bossed about. One day he meets Elizabeth (Olivia Wilde) who offers him an escape from his dull life. Before long he is popping pills, getting drunk and having an affair. And he has a DEA agent sniffing around the pharmacy too.

The film is just not particularly funny. I can’t think of more than maybe one or two moments that I laughed at. In fact, it reminded me of that film The Details starring Tobey Maguire, in that it showed a man’s life spiralling out of control in darkly comic circumstances. That was a bit of a turkey, and this film will likely end up the same. Which is a shame because I really like Sam Rockwell, but that is two bad movies in a row I’ve seen him in now, along with A Single Shot. And he was so great in The Way, Way Back as well! He does his best in this though, along with the rest of the cast, in particular Michelle Monaghan playing against type as Doug’s complete bitch of a wife. Seriously, she is scary! Another thing that struck me whilst watching this was how far Ray Liotta has fallen. From being one of the leads in Goodfellas to bit parts in films like this. Depressing stuff!

So, in summary, the cast all try their best, but they never make it past the average script, which, whilst full of cliches is devoid of any real laughs.

2 clappers

 

 

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.

6 comments

  1. Great review, Tom. Definitely not a film to rent, rather watch it when they show it on TV.

  2. That’s good to know: I almost watched this :S

  3. Yeah, this one was fairly decent that is about all I can say. I did like the performances and I do not regret watching it but it was far from anything special.

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