Plot: What’s it about?
Jack (Mark Ruffalo) is married to Terry (Laura Dern), while Hank (Peter Krause) is married to Edith (Naomi Watts). The couples are friends, but live very different lives, such as the fact that while Hank and Edith live a rather comfortable lifestyle, while Jack and Terry endure financial hardships. But while Jack and Terry have a strong bond within their marriage, Hank and Edith suffer relationship issues of all kinds, even with a net of financial stability underneath. So both couples have elements of unhappiness, with different causes and soon, someone will decide to take action. Jack and Edith are friends and when a sudden wave of lust arrives, the two give in and engage in sex on the spot. While Edith cheats because of her marital problems with Hank, Jack has no such concerns, he simply cheats because he wants to do so. Both also know that sooner or later, the affair will be found out, but that doesn’t make them hesitate in the least. Not much time passes before Hank and Terry put the pieces together, but their reaction isn’t as expected. The two do retaliate with an affair of their own, but the passion is absent, as if the act was done out of obligation. In the wake of these betrayals, what will become of these two couples and their lives?
A lot of films have covered the realm of adultery, but all too often, the subject is handled with the kind of over the top melodrama seen in soap operas. All shock and surprise, cunning and eroticism, not always ingredients when real life infidelities unfold. We Don’t Live Here Anymore is one that takes on the issue in a realistic fashion, a decision which proves to be a wise one. The result might not be as bold and colorful, but the connections seem more real, which is crucial. If we can’t relate to the characters, both good and bad, then the movie fails, but in this movie, the connection is there. Perhaps not so much to a younger audience, but those in their late 20s and beyond should pick up on a lot of subtle, but effective human touches. The kind of small things that people don’t realize exist until they’ve been in a long term relationship, the kind of small things that are exposed, exploited, and magnified in situations like the one in this film. A story like this doesn’t need a lot of flash and dazzle, as the characters provide enough substance. How the characters deal with the situation they’ve created is what drives this film, not special effects or overdrawn melodrama. The actors are in fine form here, with solid performances from Naomi Watts (The Ring, 21 Grams) and Peter Krause (Tv’s Six Feet Under), while Mark Ruffalo (In the Cut, 13 Going on 30) and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park, Wild at Heart) are passable, but not up to their full potential. While the film might be too restrained and realistic for those looking for more melodrama, We Don’t Live Here Anymore is a solid movie, one well worth a look.
Video: How does it look?
We Don’t Live Here Anymore is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Although not one of Warner’s best transfers of late, this effort is quite good and for a movie that gathered dust for a few years, I’d say this presentation is more than solid. The flaws include speckles on the print, some softness, and spots of edge enhancement, but these remain minor in all cases and as such, I can’t see too many viewers being let down here. I found colors to be warm and error free, while contrast is bold and accurate at all times, no detail loss in the least. As I mentioned, this visual effort has some small problems, but still stands as a good looking treatment.
Audio: How does it sound?
A Dolby Digital 5.1 option is used here, but as the film is driven by dialogue most of the time, this is not the kind of track to demo your sound system with. A few scenes do liven up the mix and bring the surrounds to life, but outside of the music and a handful of other moments, the front channels handle the audio burden. This is not bad news per se, as the dialogue and other basic elements sound solid, but it does limit the depth and presence, so the mix seems flat at times and never that impressive. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.