Alan Parker's film about the downside of the Marin County lifestyle of the period that Cyra McFadden had satirized in Serial tracks the course of a disintegrating marriage. While the subject is the stuff of a thousand TV movies, and it can't be said that the film finds much new to say, Keaton and Finney raise the tone well above the usual fare, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Bo Goldman is a careful observer of the difficult details of divorce. The film is somewhat skewed in the direction of Finney's father and husband, and the actor plays this loving, blundering, self-pitying character with an undertone of imminent anarchy that gives the film its edge. Keaton is equally good in a less meaty part, but one feels the absence of any compelling attempt to identify what went wrong, though few films are willing to put an audience through the kind of pain Ingmar Bergman put onscreen in the classic Scenes From a Marriage (1973). Casting Peter Weller as Keaton's boyfriend seems a little gimmicky, his don't-mess-with-me persona adding extra conflict to an already fraught situation. But Finney's tennis court conflagration with him is a sadly fascinating scene, a metaphor for the territoriality of marriage, and the explosion of a West Coast Lear who has finally grasped the implications of his actions.
by Michael Costello review