An American dream turned nightmare, but only for the duration!
The sub-title for this film "A story of Three Women" is a betrayal in itself: this is the story of two families and their associates, workplace and social: no pets, no verdure, natural landscapes, no stars, no sun (in an astronomical context), nor even a moon for the romantic lovers . . . Read on.
The scheme follows a typical Columbo "thriller", in one sense, in that the culprit/s are revealed in the first scene. Here mum's husband is having it off with the young daughter of her best friend (widowed?). (An interesting turn of events since dad had found temporary employment for the lassie at his workplace as a sort of "gap year".)
And so, the story line is a variant on a theme that is as old as the proverbial hill landscape, namely infidelity and its consequences; for all that the action is set in an American, white middleclass grouping, the pathos is no less telling. That is, it would be if one could detach themselves from the gloss and the gaping holes to credibility. O.K. dad gets the push from home when his loving wife finds out part of the truth - the bit about having an affair - the more dramatic revelation has yet to unfold (out of the duvet?).
Where does all the dosh come from to support the lavish lifestyles of the participants? Dad has a job, as does mum's best friend: they both work in plush offices in positions of some seniority, yet quite what any of them actually do towards mankind's evolution is not made at all clear. But the office, and all it entails, is the plot's salvation. Dad, reminded by his boss that he is in line to become a senior partner (no scandal wanted here), eventually finds it possible to re-evaluate his marriage and to ditch his young toy girl.
Along the road a number of things happen, quite obviously. The eldest son disowns his father "You are dead, you are dead . . .". You might expect this from a lad who is taking rainforest depletion seriously without necessarily making any connection with his immediate environmental "paradise". The slightly younger son is less severe. (Maybe he has an eye on that car dad had promised him to make journeying to school more interesting?)
The most violent eruption comes when mum discovers her best friend's daughter is the other half of the equation. A bust up ensues between the girly pals putting in question a European holiday (just the two of them) that had been long in the planning. Violent scenes with some verbal and physical face slapping add excitement to the thing. Mum decides she may call it off and on one of the many visits to the long-suffering travel agent she declares, in a disembodied voice much to the bemusement of the operative there: "I can go where I like . . ." implying, presumably, now she is unshackled from a husband. (Where all the dosh is to come from is again left to the imagination.)
On the positive side let's say that within the movie's parameters the dialogue is well crafted and supported by an excellent cast. Lying is revealed as a normal, human custom (as indeed it is) yet despite all this we cannot help ourselves and so on - and on it goes
Without further ado, let's draw this review to a close with the final scene. Dad is now well on the way to returning to the family den (eldest son's reaction to this is a loose thread - again improvise for yourself). Will they or won't they? Well, the answer is they do. Yes, they keep each other in the dark on their intentions re: that European holiday, and then, presto, the two former best firends are on board one of those multi-storey airliners sipping a toast to the future as the great beast lifts off from the tarmac.
We have made it!
Alternatively (a synopsis):
Lavishly appointed dwellings,
spotless inside and out (not a cleaner in sight),
a fleet of cars: one for dad, one for mum
and one for each of the children,
the dream turns to nightmare -
dad is having an affair, and
with the daughter of mum' best friend,
what do you think of that?
Never mind, it is all well serviced
from the invisible yet apparent (paradox here?)
family incomes, things can just go on
ticking over between the tears:
trips to the supermarket, gas in the cars,
spotless clothing, cosmetics, hair-dos,
partying, as only they know how,
holidays abroad, travelling by air
in a flying hotel, super-winged canister,
all in place as of yore, the dream
and the nightmare coexist.