By Matt Pascarella
Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes
When novelist Beth overhears her husband vehemently saying how much he doesn’t like her current novel, it upsets her and makes her question what else he could have been lying about. This drama-comedy deals with the hard truth of being honest with one another, not just our significant others, with sometimes subtle, sometimes dark humor. Julia Louis-Dreyfus gives a solid performance in this sincere movie.
Beth (Louis-Dreyfus) is a published author and teacher who has written a memoir and is working on her second book, a work of fiction. She is married to Don (Menzies) who is a therapist. Her agent doesn’t think her second book is as strong as her first.
When Beth and her sister Sarah (Watkins) overhear Don telling Sarah’s husband, Mark (Moayed), how much he really dislikes Beth’s second book, she is upset. She’s been working for two years and has given Don many drafts to read and every single time he says they are good. Beth says her hands are numb and she thinks Don probably doesn’t respect her or understand why she teaches. Beth says she needs Don’s approval.
Sarah admits to lying to her husband from time to time when he is part of something she doesn’t think is good.
When their son, Elliot’s (Teague) girlfriend breaks up with him, he visits them and brings up the topic of trust. Beth is very cold toward Don.
The fears of being not good enough are only reinforced when she discovers no one in her class has read her first book.
Beth finally confronts Don during a dinner with Sarah and Mark. She says she might stop writing altogether.
Don claims what she heard was taken out of context. Beth says she can never trust him again.
Each of the characters in this movie struggles with not feeling good enough; although Beth is the only one who overhears someone bashing her work.
While this drama-comedy was funny, it’s not like my sides hurt from laughing, but it may bring a tear to your eye. We all may have told a small lie to protect someone’s feelings. It’s a hard subject to broach. I found this movie relatable in that it’s an uncomfortable experience that may be pretty common. How do you tell someone you care about you may not like something they did?
Beth’s mother (Berlin) is a funny character and I related to adult children dealing with their older parents. I can’t say I felt like a solution to what Don did to Beth was reached, I think they just moved on. Julia Louis-Dreyfus gives a fantastic performance which in no way reminded me of her Seinfeld role as Elaine Benes. This is worth a rental, and I give it two thumbs up.
Available to rent on most major streaming platforms. <