A Good Marriage

A Good Marriage is a 2014 American psychological thriller film based on the novella of the same name by Stephen King, from the 2010 collection Full Dark, No Stars. It stars Joan Allen, Anthony LaPaglia, Kristen Connolly and Stephen Lang. It was released on October 3, 2014.

The Anderson’s, Darcy & Bob are celebrating 25 years of marriage at a party thrown by their kids, Petra & Donnie and Petra’s fiance Bill. They have a happy yet humdrum relationship, running a mail-order business selling and appraising rare coins and Bob is also an accountant. A few nights later while Bob is away on a business trip, Darcy accidentally finds out Bob’s secret storage of sadomasochistic porn magazines and a box which contains the ID cards of Marjorie Duvall, a victim of a serial killer called “Beadie”. Having seen the details on the news Darcy is distraught and feels lost.

Afterwards, Darcy Googles Beadie and cross-checks Bob’s business records with the locations of the murders, finding that Bob was in close proximity to most of the crimes. Bob calls and senses that something is wrong from the tone of Darcy’s voice. He comes home early and surprises Darcy and tells her that he knows that she found out his secret. He tells her how he and a sadistic friend named Brian Delahanty – nicknamed “BD”, from which Beadie’s name was derived – planned a school shooting as teenagers. Delahanty was hit by a truck before they could carry it out, but Bob claims he had “infected” him with “certain ideas,” resulting in his homicidal urges. Bob claims that after he started his family with Darcy, his murderous alter ego receded and he was not driven to kill again for several years. 

He pleads with Darcy to keep it behind them and even threatens her with what this revelation could do to their kids. Darcy agrees to continue living with him on the condition that he bury Duvall’s ID cards deep in the woods. As this is happening, an older retired cop named Holt Ramsey has been watching them from a distance Bob believes Darcy has put the truth behind her; however, she is trying to think of a way to stop him from killing again. Petra marries and things go back seemingly to normal. A few months after Darcy’s discoveries, an elated Bob finds a rare 1955 doubled die cent, and the couple goes out to Portland to celebrate. When Bob becomes drunk from champagne, Darcy devises a plan to murder him. She goes upstairs while Bob fetches her a bottle of Perrier and when he comes up Darcy pushes him down the stairs, breaking his arm, neck, and back.

She then manages to shove a plastic bag and a dish cloth down his throat, killing him. After removing the evidence of murder, Darcy manages to convince the authorities and the children that Bob died in a drunken accident, and isn’t suspected of committing any foul play. The kids are devastated and attend the funeral. Darcy gives away most of Bob’s things and prepares for life anew when Holt visits her Ramsey spent years investigating the Beadie murders and had questioned Bob. Ramsey tells Darcy that he suspected Bob was the killer, since his Chevrolet Suburban was seen in the vicinity of each victim. Darcy realizes that Ramsey has figured out her role in Bob’s death. Once she admits the truth, Ramsey assures her that she “did the right thing” and leaves; before he does, she tells him about Delahanty. Darcy realizes that Bob was close to being caught and wasn’t as smart as he thought he was. She also finds that she can now be at peace with herself.

It’s not the horror film and tension filled flick that I was hoping for. It’s a bit meh in many ways though I thought both the leads are very convincing. I give it a 6 outta 10!

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