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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Relationships > Sex > Adultery > British > French Film (2008) + Made For Each Other (2009) + A Quiet Little Marriage (2008) + The Waiting Room (2007/IFC/MPI DVD)

French Film (2008) + Made For Each Other (2009) +A Quiet Little Marriage (2008) + The Waiting Room (2007/IFC/MPI DVD)

 

Picture: C+/C/C/C+†††† Sound: C+ (Quiet: C)†††† Extras: C-/C-/C/C†††† Feature: C+/C-/C/C+

 

 

The original idea of independent filmmaking was supposed to be a greater honesty about any subject taken on.In films about romance and relationships, the idea should be a more open idea of the drama, comedy and factors that tell us more than confined, limited, formulaic Hollywood (and the like) product.Sadly, the majors setting up boutique companies destroyed that, then that imploded when just about all of them were folded.IFC is one of the few survivors left, not part of any major.

 

Four romances new to DVD have arrived and although none of them are classics, some have their moments and a few might be worth your time if you are really interested in the subject.Two of them also star Anne-Marie Duff of The Last Station.

 

French Film (2008) has Miss Duff in a spoof of sorts about two couples who are having relationship troubles, but will they be made worse by a popular French director (Eric Contona) who may be more clueless and pretentious than his films?The credits reference Jean-Luc Godard, but the connection is more vague than Nouveaux Vague while the situations and humor are more predictable than anything else.The performances by the actors (Huge Bonneville and Victoria Hamilton are one couple, Duff and Douglas Henshall the other) are just about convincing enough and it makes this watchable, but too many coincidences and playing loose with filmmaking hold this back form being a much funnier comedy.

 

Made For Each Other (2009) has Bijou Phillips (Almost Famous, Bully) in one of her better roles of late as a frigid wife to Dan (Christopher Masterson) and thus stars the one-joke comedy with a script whose dialogue is never believable and never adds up to a narrative that works or we can take seriously, which is too bad since the cast (also including Samm Levene, Lauren German, Patrick Warburton, Cy Carter (who co-wrote the script) and George Segal) is not bad.With some thought and restraint, this could have worked, but I was disappointed.

 

A Quiet Little Marriage (2008) has Cy Carter from that film as the co-star and co-writer of this film about a couple who has no problem with sex, yet his wife (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) wants to get pregnant and canít seem to no matter what she tries.Add past problems with their dysfunctional families and the question is, can they continue to make their relationship work?Like the last script, this one gets too jumbled up in its intents and even with a different director, produces the same uneven results.

 

The Waiting Room (2007) is the oldest and the best of the four, with Miss Duff as a mother whose marriage is done, yet she really cares about her daughter and still handles her ex (Adrian Bower) as best she can.One day she meets Stephen (Ralf Little) in a waiting room and maybe they make a connection.They start to find out, but is it just desperation coincidence or something else?Frank Finlay and Rupert Graves (V For Vendetta, Return Of The Saint) also star in this London-set drama that works to some extent, but despite good casting and performances, it does not always work as well as it could have as if it stops short in the end.

 

 

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on all four DVDs are a little soft throughout, but Made and Quiet are especially soft and all are shot on Digital High Definition video of some sort.The Dolby Digital 5.1 on all four DVDs really tries to push the dialogue-based recordings and in the case of Quiet, does so to thinning it out too much, but music and sometimes sound effects are the only things that fill the surrounds out when they are even active and the dialogue is often center-speaker only.Extras include trailers on all four DVDs, while all but French have a behind the scenes/making of featurette, Quiet has a feature-length audio commentary track and Made has a second featurette, Extended Scenes and Deleted Scenes.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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