If it weren’t for Leonor Watling’s continuously changing accent and a hapless plot, this might have been a reasonable movie. Between some pretty badly scripted scenes there does remain a few good laughs.
Shakespeare’s play King Lear features within the movie’s plot. Although its setting has very little to do with the play, the storyline seems to follow a Shakespearean-esc theme; filled with unexpected twists, an untold secret and matters of morality.
When Madelyn (Marcia Gay Harden) unexpectedly befriends her husband’s lover, Lucy (Leonor Watling), the two women make a pact to fix each others unhappy lives by agreeing to do exactly as the other orders. Lucy instructs Madelyn to play the part of King Lear in an amateur production with Lucy, an aspiring actress, appropriately playing the fool. Madelyn’s mother’s passing causes her to meet an influential stranger, Derek (Aidan Qinn), while Lucy struggles to keep the affection of her married lover, Paul (Joseph Kell). Both women are forced to face not only their own lies but also each others, as they embark on a journey of self-discovery they reveal unexpected revelations in their own lives and each other’s.
The story starts with fast-paced twists, making the beginning of the movie confusing and tedious rather than exciting. After the introduction of the plot and characters, the setting becomes a little more entertaining. However, many of the scenes were either irrelevant or unnecessarily long-winded. The introduction of a new, fairly significant character towards the end of the movie creates and very unsatisfying close.
As each scene unfolds, the combination of bad script writing and even worse acting is unveiled in Watling’s progressively deteriorating performance. Harden, an evidently good actor, struggles to pull any depth into her character. Her comedic spouts and dramatic performance are the only things that keep the movie from becoming unwatchable. The score tries to recreate the suspense of a theatre orchestra but instead becomes monotonous and often irrelevant to the scene at hand.
Although listed as a comedy, this seems a stretch for what feels like an extremely hap hazard plot with very little comedic direction if any direction at all. Marcia Harden’s role, the only saving grace, allows the over all production to fall just short of awful.