Monday, March 31, 2008

I Think I love my Wife (2007)

Based on a Eric Rohmer movie called "Chloe in the Afternoon" about a marriage & infidelity Chris Rock's movie "I think I love my Wife" seems to be an update on the theme. What may have looked good on paper doesn't translate too well on the screen. I understand that the theme is a universal one, and one that many directors have done. I guess the studio saw Chris Rock was doing it, and he would be able to put a hip new fresh slant on the old theme of marriage & infidelity. Only thing is that this movie doesn't know whether it wants to be a comedy or a drama. There are some comedic pieces in the film that feel forced, and the narration that Chris Rock does gets annoying at times.

From the coming attractions I thought this had some potential, but after seeing it on cable over the week-end I have to tell you I was a bit disappointed. The film does have some interesting casting choices such as Steve Buscemi as George Rock's co-worker & friend. The beautiful Kerry Washington plays Nikki Tru the temptress in the story. Edward Herrmann plays the boss to Rock's character, and it's a shame they didn't use him a bit more. Gina Torres even plays Rock's wife Brenda. You would think with some good actors here the material would be better, but it isn't. A quarter of the way into the film my wife and I were looking at each other and talking back at the screen. When that happens a movie is in trouble.

I still have to take my hat off to Rock for getting the film made. I had heard he had put a lot of his own money into the project, and his heart was in the right place. Maybe the material needed to be re-written by someone else. I happen to be a big admirer of Eric Rohmer, and I've learned to appreciate them. I can't say I was always an admirer of his films, but they have grown on me, and I love what he does. What Rohmer does is inject reality into his film. Everyday people fall prey to the wandering heart. In Chris Rock's film I didn't feel that. I felt I was watching a sitcom with a lot of F words. I don't even object to the obscene language because we all use colorful vernaculars from time to time, but Rock's film does it way too much. Maybe casting himself in this film wasn't a good idea, but I understand why he did. After all Rock's name has box office potential, and that's what the studio was looking for. I also didn't like the ending. First what is up with singing a duet about "making love" with his wife Brenda (Gina Torres). that comes out of left field, and secondly after Rock's character Richard goes to Nikki's (Kerry Washington)apartment he runs away. It felt out of character, and not true enough. I understand it was a pivotal moment in the film, but it rings out as hollow.

The film is 94 minutes yet it seems longer. I'm sure Chris Rock will do some other interesting films in the future, but this isn't one of them, and if you want to see the same film with a bit more believability see "Chloe in the Afternoon". Rohmer does it so much better.

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