<i>Married Life</i>

Married Life focuses on the notion that no one can ever really know what's going on inside another person's head - particularly when two people are married.

Set in the 1940s, Chris Cooper plays respectable family man Harry, who desperately wants a closer sexual connection with his wife Pat (Patricia Clarkson) - but she believes that true love doesn't have to be about sex.

Harry falls head over heels with the beguiling Kay (Rachel McAdams) and decides that rather than cause his wife unnecessary pain by breaking up with her it will be easier to murder her.

The film takes on a more comedic tone when Harry introduces Kay to his charming single friend Richard (played by Pierce Brosnan) who decides to win her for himself.

All of the characters struggle with their deceptions while trying to maintain the façade of living a normal life.

Director Ira Sachs’ deftly weaves together a comedy of manners with darker undertones.

There are some lovely performances from the small ensemble cast.

Pierce Brosnan is ideally cast as the likeable cad who even though he respects his friend and doesn’t want to hurt him, can’t stop himself from pursuing Kay.

Rachel McAdams holds her own against the more established actors, playing the 'other woman' with a surprising amount of sadness and longing.

The era is recreated in minute detail in the costumes and 'front room' sets.

The film is filled with motifs from the 40s, the perfectly presented women, the ubiquitous cigarettes, and characters exclaiming "fix yourself a drink" as if a cocktail will solve everything.

If there is any fault with the film it is that the ending is a little anticlimactic - but all in all this is a charming film which will appeal to fans of 40s film noir and Hitchcock.

Married Life
Director: Ira Sachs
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel McAdams, David Wenham
Time: 90 minutes
Rating: PG
Screening: From July 24
Trailer: Flicks.co.nz