A Walk On The Moon
** GM
Starring: Diane Lane, Liev Schreiber, Viggo Mortensen, Anna Paquin, Tovah Feldsuh

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It seems like writer Pamela Gray recently found out that her mother had an affair when she was a child and instantly needed to write a screenplay about it and 'express her feelings and empathy for what she had to go through.' Or something.

This film chronicles a frustrated housewife named Pearl (Diane Lane) spending her umpteenth summer at a bungalow colony in the Catskills in 1969, tending to her blossoming teen rebel daughter Alison (Anna Paquin) and her young son Daniel (Bobby Boriello) with the help of her mother-in-law Lilian (Tovah Feldsuh). All the while, her husband Marty (Liev Schreiber), a peach of a guy, is forced to commute to the colony every weekend while he works in the city - a lengthy drive. Pearl believes she missed out on life because she got pregnant after her first time, and is led astray by "the blouse man" - a travelling salesman (Viggo Mortensen) that regularly visits the colony.

This sounds like the run-of-the-mill story of a woman rediscovering herself and the true meaning of life by screwing the hell out of some guy and escaping her oppressive family life. The twist here is that Marty is immensely more appealing then Blouse Man. He's funny, he's loving, he's as attentive as he can be, given the situation. Conversely, Blouse Man is kinda smarmy, literally seems a bit slimy, and is generally less-than-enticing, although his knowledge of first aid does come in handy when Daniel starts baiting wasps.

The film is mind-numbingly slow-paced, designed to let us watch Pearl's frustration build to the point where it seems she has no choice but to sneak off with Blouse Man and schtup around in spectacular locales. This works at times, but not often enough. The action does pick up a bit when Marty discovers this affair, but it slows back down soon after and drips like molasses again. Perhaps my brain has been fried by too many quick-cut explosion festivals, and maybe I can't handle a film with realistic pacing anymore.

Schreiber is amusing, fun and always a pleasure to watch, and the fact that I like Lane most likely saved me from growing overly surly about it, but too often I found myself predicting people's reactions and forecasting the quirky touches. If a chowderhead like me can do it, chances are there's something seriously wrong here.

It's pleasant, well-meaning, has some good performances and can get you thinking about hastily casting away serious relationships when you get bored, but it takes so long for the obvious to happen that a good hunk of the story's impact is sucked away, leaving a bit too much yawning behind.

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