Happily Ever After

Rated NR 2005

This story of three male friends stuck in midlife ruts has a refreshing sense of authenticity and an uncommonly clear-eyed balance of humor and seriousness. How each character views his boredom and unhappiness, as well as the ways in which each tries to combat his anxieties, not only exposes the inevitable strains of domesticity but also says volumes about the differences between men and women. Writer/director/actor Yvan Attal plays Vincent, who, although still in love with his wife Gabrielle (Attal's real-life actress wife Charlotte Gainsbourg), finds the routine of married life stultifying. Equally important to the story -- and to the film's success -- is how Gabrielle and the other women cope with their situations. A nice touch finds the two husbands so busy envying their single friend that they are incapable of seeing how he longs for the very predictability and monotony they seek to flee. Well-structured, written, and acted, the film presents multiple points of view without turning anybody into a villain.

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Happily Ever After

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