2014, Geoff Moore and David Posamentier
This movie should thank its lucky stars that it had Sam Rockwell. I still am not sure why he signed up for such a played out, unfocused and altogether uninteresting picture but without him it would have been even worse than it already is. Maybe there was some promise there initially because it does seem like a kind of role that he would excel at and he does what he can, but ultimately there’s no way any actor could have made this a worthwhile venture. One has to assume that the script was much better than what ended up being put on screen for the final product because this movie has a solid cast and even more great names that were originally attached.
Jane Fonda provides the narration, which is amusing hearing her give some dirty talk, and the role was originally cast with Judi Dench. Jeremy Renner was set as the lead, but had to drop out and was replaced by Sam Rockwell, which is amusing considering how close of friends they are. Olivia Wilde plays the cliched trophy wife femme fatale role; a part that was originally host to Jennifer Garner. There’s so much talent in this movie, the writing and directing debut of Geoff Moore and David Posamentier, that you wonder how it all could have translated to such an uninteresting and derivative failure.
There’s a ten-minute sequence in the middle of the movie that’s just Sam Rockwell fucking shit up and it’s a total riot with him living up that suburban malaise turned into total anarchy, but aside from that Better Living Through Chemistry is a big waste of time and is nothing more than a lazy American Beauty meets Double Indemnity retread. The opening credits are pretty cool and inventive, but I just wish that the rest of the movie had any shred of the creativity or freshness on display there. Instead it’s one tired cliche after another all the way to the messy and obvious resolution.