Saturday, January 3, 2015

Movie Reviews: Let's Kill Ward's Wife

Let's Kill Ward's Wife
directed by Scott Foley
This is a black comedy which is most definitely not for everyone. If you can find murder humorous, if you can think of a few people you wouldn't mind removing from the planet, if you have ever gotten away with something and kept it moving, you might find the premise of this movie to be tolerable. If on the other hand none of those things apply then this film isn't for you. I wasn't that bothered by the film's premise : an unpleasant, aggressive, bullying, harridan causes her husband's friends to consider removing her from the planet. A Fish Called Wanda treated murder comically and did so with great verve. But Let's Kill Ward's Wife is not A Fish Called Wanda in either writing or execution. Although the title is if anything flame bait for people who are worried by "misogynist" or "anti-feminist" overtones, the film attempts to inoculate itself against this charge by having various women be in on what turns into a murder conspiracy. I'm not sure this would have made a difference. It might have been more of a twist if the men had carried out the murder and tried to hide it from their wives or girlfriends at first. Dunno.  
Anyway. My major problem with Let's Kill Ward's Wife was that the film never gives the viewer any reason why Ward (Donald Faison from Scrubs) would have married this woman in the first place, let alone put up with her or have had a child with her. His wife is not only verbally abusive, insulting, and nasty to Ward in private she's also that way in public. She will rip Ward a new one in front of company. She has no problem doing that. 

His wife is at best average looking. She provides Ward no physical comfort. I don't just mean the obvious. I mean no hugs, no kisses, no nothing. It's the opposite as the viewer is led to believe that she would have no problem giving the passive Ward a backhand across the face. So from a male point of view why would you marry a plain looking nasty hostile woman? It would have been more understandable and interesting had his wife been exactly the same personality wise but been extremely attractive. It would be easier to understand why someone like Ward might have stayed with her for a while.The sad truth is that many men, especially if they lack confidence like Ward does, would put up with a lot of stuff from a woman who may be a witch on wheels, but is nevertheless a babe. Well. We all have our cross to bear. 

Ward's friends are well aware of his predicament. When Ward is guilt-tripped into skipping their weekly golf outing, one of them wonders out loud if they shouldn't just kill the woman who is interfering with their lifelong friendship. This thought percolates but of course none of them mention it to Ward. During a get together at Ward's house, his wife Stacy (Dagmara Dominczyk) overhears one of his friends making flirtatious talk to an actress (Nicolette Sheridan). Because Stacy is at heart a bully she assumes that the man was cheating on his girlfriend and gleefully threatens to rat him out. Panicking, he accidentally on purpose kills Stacy. The remainder of the movie involves Ward, his friends and their wives/girlfriends trying to dispose of the body and avoid unnecessary contact with the police, one of whom is Ward's new neighbor. There is the normal trope of the quiet guy who has hitherto unexamined murderous impulses and the strutting macho guy who falls apart when faced with some ugly decisions. All told though the movie wasn't really that good both because of the messages it sent and the uneven tone. This is just a reworking of Very Bad Things and a few other films I am not interested in seeing again. There is eye candy for both genders as anyone who's read Murder Machine knows when you're disposing of a corpse you need to strip down to your boxers or bra and panties to avoid getting incriminating material on your clothing. Other actors include Scott Foley, Patrick Wilson, James Carpinello, and Amy Acker. 

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