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USA 2002
Directed by
Alan Rudolph
104 minutes
Rated M

3.5 stars

The Secret Lives Of Dentists

Although the title of this film hardly inspires it is in fact a fine comedy-drama about a marriage in crisis, understated and humorous yet painfully well-observed. Dentist David Hurst (Campbell Scott) suspects that his wife Dana (Hope Davis), the mother of their three children and also a dentist, with whom he operates a dental practice is having an affair. He’s jealous and angry but also he blames himself and empathises with his wife’s need to explore her own life beyond their suburban lot. And even worse he’s not sure if he’s just imagining things.

The deft script, adapted from Jane Smiley's novel The Age of Grief, by Craig Lucas introduces an unusual but effective device of an imaginary alter ego in the form of a sarcastic, misogynistic patient (Denis Leary) to play out David’s oscillating thought processes as he tries to deal with the situation. Rudolph has a lot of fun with depicting the everyday realities of married-with-kids life and Scott and Davis perfectly capture the emotional state of the two adults who never imagined that it would be like this while Dennis Leary provides an amusing foil to Scott’s devoted husband. 

Available from: Madman




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