Studio: IFC Films
Cast: Cy Carter, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Jimmi Simpson, Michael O'Neill, Rita Taggart, Lucy Devito, Charlie Day, Melanie Lynskey, Ian McConnel, Charlotte Chanler
Director: Mo Perkins
Release Date: September 15, 2010, 5:23 am
Rating: Not Rated for (adult themes)
Run Time: 01h:21m:01s
ìWhatíd I tell ya babe? Stand-up guy, right here.î - Jackson (Jimmi Simpson)
Movie Grade: C+
DVD Grade: B
Calling your film A Quiet Little Marriage leaves the door open for it to have numerous tones. It could infer irony, and wind up telling the story of a psychotic husband and/or wife whoíd rather kill people than live a happy, suburban life. Or, it could be the polar opposite, and we get this, filmmaker Mo Perkinsí (Seed) latest, an indie film that, unfortunately, carries a pace and tone that takes its title a bit too seriously for my blood. Still, there are great performances across the board, and IFCís fine DVD release makes it easy to recommend at least renting A Quiet Little Marriage to see if maybe you ìhearî more than I did.
Olive (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) and Dax (Cy Carter) are a happily-married couple who seemingly have it all. What they donít have is a baby, and while Olive is suddenly desperate for one, Dax is on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum as far as becoming a parent is concerned. Complicating matters are Oliveís father, Bruce (Michael OíNeill), who is quickly succumbing to Alzheimerís and Daxís brother, Jackson (Jimmi Simpson), who is either constantly looking for money, a place to crash for the night, or both; anything to feed his and his girlfriend, Sylviaís (Lucy De Vito) drug habit.
Call it excellence in marketing, but after setting eyes upon the DVD case for A Quiet Little Marriage, I was pumped to check out this little-seen flick. While the central story eventually evolves into the struggles of a young couple to decide whether parenting is for them or not, I expected a far different tale. The good news is, Perkinsí film is, indeed, an interesting study of such an important, real life decision, but the bad news is, for a movie with an 80- minute running time, it seems to take an awfully long time for this director to make his point. Thereís quite a bit of fun to be had in the beginning, when weíre getting to know Olive and Dax, but things slow to a crawl not long after this intro. A Quiet Little Marriage certainly has its moments, but while the credits rolled, I realized that this was one of those movies where I felt like I'd been waiting for an hour for something big to happen, but, due to Perkins decision to move things along at such a low key, languid pace, it's simply way too difficult to get involved with the core of the story or any of the characters.
Nearly everyone in the cast has the distinction of appearing in the TV show, Itís Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Having never seen that highly-touted (at least among its cultish fan base) series, I canít vouch for whether thatís a good thing or not. Itís even more difficult to gauge such a thing based on their work in A Quiet Little Marriage, as there arenít a ton of opportunities for humor. Regardless, the cast does just fine, and is often as subdued as the material. Ellis is a beauty, and does a wonderful job portraying the wide range of emotions that Olive feels as she struggles with a myriad of baby-related issues. Carter is a bit less appealing, since it seems like a struggle for him, at times, to go beyond a single facial expression, but heís still serviceable. Thereís nothing flashy at all about IFCís DVD, but it works just fine in that it presents this mega-low budget film in the best possible manner, and even throws in a couple of extra features for good measure.
Chuck Aliaga September 15, 2010, 5:23 am