Irreconcilable Differences (3 stars)

This article is from 2012

Irreconcilable Differences

Car crash drama is punchy and heartfelt if ultimately rather hackneyed

A couple. A car crash. Who lives? You decide.

In reality, Benjamin and Pollyanna are clinging to life from their adjacent operating tables. We see them in an abstract limbo, tied together at the wrists, scrapping for our sympathies in order to survive. Past feelings are thrown out as the couple, long since separated, dish the dirt on one another, unpicking the half-healed scabs of their relationship: affairs, suicide attempts, violence, abortion, euthanasia. (All that’s missing is stem cell therapy.)

Traces of nostalgic affection remain: three taps on the hand say, ‘I love you’; the memory of their first encounter stirs beneath the surface.

As a portrait of a car-crash relationship, Alan Flanagan’s script -- part balloon debate, part domestic -- is punchy and heartfelt, if rather hackneyed overall. However, the interactive element, on which the whole so clearly hangs, is nothing more than a gimmick. In the end, our decision is entirely arbitrary; both sides are overstuffed with pros and cons and there’s no real-world significance to the choice. Who lives? Who cares?

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Irreconcilable Differences

  • 3 stars

Twenty years is a long time to be together. One hour can be significantly longer. After a seemingly endless marriage of fighting, cheating, lies, threats and walk-outs (and some good, no doubt), Polly and Benjamin find themselves floating face-up in a river. Their car is wrecked, their bodies are broken and the odds are…

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