Monday, June 13, 2005

Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Two Beautiful People Make a Fun Movie

Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Two pretty people get together and try to kill each other.

You would think, not a pretty sight. Ah, but it is.

I was thinking as I went into this movie, oh, God....not another War of the Roses. Remember that 1989 film? It starred Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. They really did whomp on each other. Divorce would have been simpler. You know, you get the dog, I get the cat? Instead, the humans didn't come out well and the animals even worse. The whole film was a dismal affair, with just despair at the end of a short tunnel full of flying debris.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a war, but not like Roses. It's actually a comedy, a dark one to be sure, but one we can follow. They met under the most romantic and mysterious circumstances. But each is so deep under cover -- a lot like our own real relationships -- and neither is willing to trust the other. Not one bit.

When they both have the same hit target, they end up warring with the sole purpose of ending the threat. They're each so used to winning and have never met defeat. A small injury or two, but the stuff upon which arrogance is easily built. But when they come home each night ("Dinner at 7?" "Sure, like always."), they each walk into defeat. An out-and-out war seems a relief. Until they find out that each really cares about the other.

This isn't a laugh a minute, but Brad and Angelina play their lines cleverly. They do "bored" really well, and they really shine when they strap on the weapons: eerily confident, gorgeous even with a scratch or two above the eye. It's fun, it's clever, and deep within, there might be a lesson or two about relationships, about hanging on, about trust and getting to know one another.

Oh, stop it. This is not deep stuff. This is fun stuff. Enjoy!


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