DVD REVIEW: A GOOD MARRIAGE / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: PETER ASKIN / SCREENPLAY: STEPHEN KING / STARRING: JOAN ALLEN, ANTHONY LAPAGLIA, STEPHEN LANG / RELEASE DATE: APRIL 20TH
What if, after twenty five years of blissful marriage, you discovered that your loving husband was also a serial killer? That’s the question posed by A Good Marriage.
When Bob Anderson (LaPaglia) goes on yet another business trip, his wife Darcy (Allen) goes hunting in the garage for some new batteries, but instead discovers a box containing the driving licence of a murdered woman from the last town he visited. After doing some more digging and checking online, Darcy realises that Bob is the serial killer called Beadie.
With her children grown up, it’s up to Darcy to either choose to do the right thing or hide her family’s horrible secret to protect them all.
With a screenplay written by King himself, based on a tale that first appeared in his short story collection Full Dark, No Stars, the Bob character was inspired by Dennis Rader – the infamous real life BTK killer.
There are more misses than hits in the chequered history of King adaptions, and the legendary writer’s involvement here in penning the screenplay does not land the film on the positive side of the fence. The movie is guilty of lacking any real tension, especially worrying considering that it is supposed to be a thriller. It has a real TV movie feel about it, with no real range – it doesn’t have a cinematic edge at all. LaPaglia seems out of place in the main role, unable to offer the necessary gravitas that the character requires. You struggle to see the dark side of him, instead seeing Bob as a family man that does this on the side.
As with the real case of Rader’s wife, you can understand her point of view and the spur for her actions and Allen manages to keep the story rooted, but there’s only so much she can do. Lang’s character hovers on the periphery for the majority of the running time, whereas, regardless of his motives that are made clear later on, he could have been used much better as plot twist that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat.
Overall, A Good Marriage falls far short of what it could have been. A missed opportunity and grounds for divorce.
Special Features: TBC
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