*THIS IS FULL OF SPOILERS LIKE ANY RESPECTABLE REVIEW. Also I didn’t read the book because I stopped buying into fad reading crazes after my mom purchased the Twilight series and it lost all appeal.*
I’ve seen a couple movies here in Romania which is always a big treat to go out on the town and also tickets are only $5. I excitedly chose to see this movie over the other limited choices because I really liked Gone Girl and I heard this was like a generic brand version of that. So imagine my surprise when the movie’s only twenty minutes in and I have to sit through sex scene on sex scene next to two ministry workers.
IMMA WALK YOU THROUGH THIS WHOLE FILM SO YOU CAN TRULY UNDERSTAND HOW UNCOMFORTABLE THIS EXPERIENCE REALLY WAS FOR ME.
First off, it stars Emily Blunt, who we all know is perfect and charming and obviously a wizard because she gets to be married to John Krasinski.
She’s a stellar actress and her accent somehow just enhances that. But her character kind of sucks and has a really boring name I totally forgot. So I’ll be referring to her as British Betch.
So British Betch rides this train every day so she can seemingly keep the appearance of having a job and a purposeful life but girlfriend doesn’t have either of those things. She’s actually sipping on Smirnoff in her water bottle throughout the day. When I was 15 in high school, the cool school bad girl told me about this trick and literally the next week, she was suspended when she was found drinking in a bathroom so long story short, drinking in public is never a good idea because EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT’S IN THE WATER BOTTLE. She has a tragic backstory that her ex-husband was cheating on her with a hot realtor that he is married to now because of her winning personality.
Just kidding. It’s because of her fertility which British Betch lacked (hence the alcoholism). So BB just rides the train while pining for her old life (which to me makes no sense because it looks like it sucked but whatever, let’s move on).
She develops a borderline unhealthy obsession of watching a particular woman (or I guess this movie doesn’t want us to refer to them as women but rather girls???) out of the train window. This woman apparently has the perfect life and marriage according to BB. She desperately waits with bated breath to see the woman every day (who does stupid sh*t by the way, like standing in her underwear, prowling her porch in the freezing cold, like that’s sexy or something).
Honestly, I didn’t even find her fixation on this girl that weird because I used to stare at the mole on the back of the neck of the kid in front of me in my economics class every day in college and I kind of felt a kinship with it so much so that when he missed class, I was really sad. Whatever. We’ve all projected on people or inanimate objects or birthmarks. It’s normal.
Anyways, it’s clear that BB doesn’t have good judgement or boundaries and shocker! the girl she’s obsessed with is the nanny to her ex-husband and his new wife. The perfect girl has a name and it is so white, I don’t remember it so I’m just gonna refer to her as Crazy Betch. Crazy Betch is def a regulation hottie but one of those girls who is obviously so full of self-hatred, she can’t function without isolating herself from other women and being overtly sexual with every man. Everyone knows a CB in real life but this CB is particularly annoying and unlikable.
Meanwhile the new wife of BB’s ex is also white with a boring name so we’ll call her Mama Betch. One of Mama Betch’s five lines is “the most important job is being a mother” as she shames a woman who doesn’t want children with her borderline abusive husband, so no one is really rooting for her. Her adorable baby is only girl in the movie I care about.
Ok, now that all the players are established, shit goes down. BB is a drunken hot mess who blacks out all the time and maybe has secret thoughts of murderous intent because she cannot handle not having a perfect suburban existence. CB can’t stop screwing everything that walks to fill the unfillable hole in her heart and gets murdered because she refuses to fit into the perfect suburban existence. MB is trying to hold on to her status as married and mother for dear life to the point she endangers herself and her child all in the name of a perfect suburban existence.
WHICH BEGS THE FREAKIN QUESTION WHY ARE ALL THESE WOMEN KILLING THEMSELVES AND OTHERS TO HAVE A PERFECT SUBURBAN EXISTENCE??? This whole movie would be solved if BB would have just got some damn therapy (with a therapist with appropriate patient-doctor boundaries, just to be clear), joined a knitting circle, and got a freakin’ eHarmony account so she could just move on. Or just go back to England where I’m assuming women aren’t passively aggressively seething with rage. One thing all three women have in common besides their upper-middle class privilege is the fact that they all stare despondently into space during sex and intimacy which maybe was the scariest part of the whole movie.
It turns out BB was gas-lighted by her ex-husband and wasn’t the violent drunk she always thought she was; she was just a sloppy, sad drunk which obviously is a different but better barrel of monkeys. She finally stands up for herself to her ex by trying to warn Mama Betch that he’s a cheater and a liar. MB is like “yeah duh I know and I’m gonna stay with him because I cease to be a sentient creature if I’m not in a relationship with a man”. MB sucks.
Ex-hubby comes back and BB is like “yo, you probably murdered Crazy Betch because you were cheating with her” and yup, turns out that was true. The ex-hubby, despite having a relationship with all three women and a FREAKIN’ BABY GIRL WHO IS STILL IN THE HOUSE AT THIS TIME, is a seething misogynist akin to Donald Trump. He hates that women have opinions and flaws but somehow still wants to sleep with them all. He tells BB that she’s totes right about everything and that he gaslighted her for years and gets v violent with her.
So BB ends up stabbing him in the throat with a magnetic corkscrew and MB just watches as literally no emotion passes her face like the psychopath she is. She even comes down to screw it in further. Again, the baby is just in the house at this time.
The movie ends with BB becoming sober and saying that all three women were tied to each other like the worst Sister of the Traveling Pants imaginable.
And honestly, none of their rage or resentment or sadness was addressed but hey, why solve that crisis, ya know?
I really, really hated this movie. I found the characters to have very little depth or relatability. It reminded me of the Feminine Mystique, this anger housewives have that “has no name”, but it so narrowly addresses one kind of life women lead as though all women feel this way. These women didn’t really provide for themselves, or have any autonomy, or face disadvantages. Most women don’t have the luxury of huge houses and nannies for stay-at-home mothers or enough time to even conduct torrid affairs with multiple men. I don’t think all men are low-key misogynists and all women are resentful. I think happiness and equality and good marriages exist. I think they all just needed to go to the damn church.
I give this a Magpie Reviews 3/10 only because Emily Blunt’s soliloquies were so well-acted, the whodunit aspect was compelling, and Luke Evans is very easy on the eyes. I would recommend you don’t watch this film if you prefer to not see excessive sex scenes that reduce women down to animalistic sexuality or if you want to continue to use a corkscrew without barfing.
Another review well done!!!