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Laramie Movie Scope:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Romantic comedy with tons of action

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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June 12, 2005 -- “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” is a movie which should not work. The plot makes no sense whatsoever. That is does work is due in large part to the chemistry of the two stars and to some clever dialogue, along with lots of eye candy. This film reminds me a lot of the old Arnold Schwarzenegger film, “True Lies.” It is kind of a screwball comedy with lots of action added to the mix.

The film starts out with Mr. and Mrs. Smith (mega stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) in a marriage counseling session. They have become bored with their marriage. It is no longer exciting. They have nothing to talk about. Suddenly, they discover their marriage has become exciting again, but they only find this out after each tries to kill the other. Both husband and wife are assassins working for competing agencies. Each is instructed to kill the other. Neither minds the assignment because they dislike each other. After a number of failed attempts, however they come to respect each other, and the romance is rekindled. They also have some important things to discuss, like how to stay alive. This is an interesting commentary on modern American marriages, if nothing else.

The story is manifestly implausible. Both assassins work for secret agencies with apparently unlimited resources. How did their secret identities go unnoticed for five years without some spy from some agency getting wise? It is impossible. The interesting thing about the plot is the clever way the script works in the marriage counseling element. Each time the characters learn something new about each other, the revelation is couched in terms of a failure to be truthful in the marriage. Everyone has secrets, but this story takes it way past the limit of believability. This clever banter back and forth in the midst of gun battles is smoothly done.

Pitt and Jolie have a lot of on-screen chemistry. They work great together as a couple, and that is one of the main reasons this silly movie works as well as it does. Both have loads of charisma and screen presence. Most screen pairings don't work this well. Although lots of people are killed in the film, this is comic book-type violence. In fact, the action in the film, shootings, explosions and car chases, are all so over-the-top it is just another part of the film's comic element. You could not possibly take the action seriously. It is very exaggerated stuff. This is a very cleverly made film with just the right touch of humor. It is a popcorn movie that is a lot of fun to watch. It rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2005 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)