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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
For Better or Worse
by Betty Jo Tucker

Imagine the marital turbulence depicted in Revolutionary Road multiplied by ten and treated as a dark comedy. That gives you some idea of what youíre in for with The Details, a disturbingly funny film starring Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks and Laura Linney. In this wild romp directed by Jacob Aaron Estes, domestic tension abounds Ė followed by infidelity and murder. Itís difficult to watch at times, but the star performances are first-rate, and additional cast members Ray Liotta, Kerry Washington and Dennis Haysbert provide excellent support.

Dr. Jeff Lang (Maguire) and Nealy (Banks), his wife of ten years, have lost that loviní feeling for each other. Instead of giving Nealy the attention she needs, Jeff has become obsessed with pesky raccoons that keep damaging his new lawn. While dealing with these marauding critters, Jeff accidentally kills the neighborís (Linney) cat, which forces him into close contact with one of the craziest ladies seen on screen during the entire year. Linney plays Lila, this wacky character, with so much fervor that we donít know whether to laugh or be frightened to the core. And Jeff should be scared, for Lila wants to be more than his neighbor. When she becomes pregnant, Jeff has a bigger worry than rampaging raccoons.  

But thatís not all! Jeff also gets sexually involved with a longtime friend (Washington), much to the chagrin of her husband (Liotta), who demands a large sum of money to keep him quiet. In the midst of all this turmoil, Jeff befriends a down-and-out man  (Haysbert), who seems willing to do anything for him as a result of the help heís received. Will this relationship also backfire on Jeff?

Because we care very little about this group of mostly self-centered characters (yes, even the guy portrayed by the usually ultra-appealing Maguire), itís a surprise to hear one of them deliver an impassioned speech about taking responsibility for oneís own actions. Could The Details have more depth than we were led to believe by the filmís bright color palette and bizarre comic tone? And, after all the deception and loud arguments, will Jeff and Nealy actually forgive each other? Strange things sometimes happen Ė but is this one of those times? I canít tell you, of course, because I donít want to spoil the fun of finding out the details for yourself, which you can do by checking out this unusual movie scheduled for limited release on November 2, 2012.        

(Released by The Weinstein Company and rated ďRĒ for language, sexual content, some drug use and brief violence.)

For more information about The Details, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website. 

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