Stephen King's A Good Marriage
October 3, 2014
Joan Allen as Darcy Anderson
Anthony LaPaglia as Bob Anderson
Stephen Lang as Holt Ramsey
What would you do if you discovered your husband has been moonlighting as a serial rapist and murderer? That’s the question that longtime, faithful wife Darcy Anderson must ask of her too-good-to-be-true husband, Bob. And the answers she summons are both expected and shocking. When a woman’s world is turned upside down, every pre-established rule of marriage flies out the window, along with a thick fiber of her own sanity, and when that transpires, all is fair game. And Darcy seems to – after absorbing the horrendous truth of her marriage – understand that completely. The rules are no longer the same. The life she once knew has been a complete fallacy, but that isn’t about to stop her from reuniting with some sense of normalcy, no matter what it means between her and her husband.
Bob is a coin collecting accountant, who from the outside looking in, appears to be a woman’s dream companion. But one night, while Bob is out of town on a business trip, Darcy uncovers some chilling evidence directly tied to a series of cases that have cluttered news channels. There’s a serial rapist/murderer on the loose who goes by the alias Beadie. And Beadie just so happens to be Bob Anderson. What transpires is an internal war for Darcy, who struggles with the decision to either help Bob cover up his heinous acts, turn the man in, or, by any other means possible, force him to put an end to his homicidal ways. The decision isn’t easy, and after plenty of soul searching, Darcy develops a plan that will unquestionably call halt to her husband’s hidden habits.
Director Peter Askin does a wonderful job of juggling horror, drama and outright heartbreak. In fact, technically, A Good Marriage could be called more thriller than anything else and that’s a direct result of Askin’s approach to the material. His decision to put characters at the forefront of the story as opposed to vile acts of violence is an excellent call, as viewers become truly attached to the Anderson family and their unspeakable troubles. The film could have very easily become a violence driven cliche film, but that doesn’t happen. What does happen is the creation of a beautiful character study that tugs at the heart strings of the viewer. And a lot of this, for the record happens because Stephen King himself handled the screenplay. The master of horror knew exactly what he hoped to relate on film. And holy shit does it work.