Better Living Through Chemistry | Indy Week

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Rated NR · 91 min. · 2014

Comedy, Drama



As is usually the case in his films, Sam Rockwell is the best part of this two-shades-from-black comedy about Doug Varney (Rockwell), a small town pharmacist and nebbish whose emasculated existence is supercharged thanks to a combination of potent pharmaceuticals and an unexpected affair with Elizabeth (Olivia Wilde), a boozy local trophy wife. There's a fair amount of breezy and occasionally carnal chemistry between Rockwell and Wilde, and the Annapolis, Md. shooting locale is suitably quaint. However, Michelle Monaghan is consigned to a one-note harridan as Doug's wife, while the evolution of Doug's relationship with his emotionally disturbed son is plain misguided. Moreover, Jane Fonda's incessant narration serves no purpose beyond manufacturing a means to shoehorn Jane Fonda into the film. First-time writers-directors Geoff Moore and David Posamentier aim for a screwball variant of Double Indemnity, but the unadorned pacing and production would be more befitting of the pilot for an ABC comedy drama series.

Director: Geoff Moore and David Posamentier
Writer: Geoff Moore and David Posamentier
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Sam Rockwell, Jane Fonda, Ben Schwartz, Julisita Salcedo, Peter Jacobson, Ken Howard and Norbert Leo Butz

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