A whole different kind of terrible, Bart Freundlich's romantic comedy seems to distil the very essence of unfunniness. It focuses on two New York couples undergoing some heavy weather in their relationships. Julianne Moore is a stage actress married to David Duchovny, an ex-adman-turned-house husband whose need for sex leads him into an affair, while aspiring writer Maggie Gyllenhaal dreams of a big family but can't get layabout boyfriend Billy Crudup to commit.
Even accepting a generic level of NY self-absorption, the experience of listening to these people discuss their pseudo-anxieties and non-problems with each other or in therapy is insufferable. All that kept me going was a galvanising hatred of Billy Crudup's oafish slacker, his goatee beard, his unamusing repartee and his smug self-regard all locked in a contest to be the most annoying thing about him. The comedy finale at Julianne Moore's opening night almost vanquishes Richard Curtis for shameless emotional grandstanding.Reuse content