Lies Bring Misery
Release Date: April 26, 2013
Runtime: 101 minutes
Director: Dante Ariola
Writer: Becky Johnston
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The story follows Wallace (Colin Firth), a professional golfer who’s utterly dissatisfied with his life. Wallace is estranged from his ex-wife and son. He decides to leave his longtime girlfriend and disappear by faking his suicide and establishing a new identity as Arthur Newman. Wallace is headed for Terre Haute, Indiana, in the hopes of becoming a golf pro there. Along the way, he picks up a woman who calls herself Mike (Emily Blunt), which is also a fake identity. “Mike” has severe issues. She fears she’ll become psychotically crazy like her institutionalized, schizophrenic twin sister and intentionally overdoses or gets extremely drunk at the start of their journey.
Mike, whose real name is Charlotte, convinces “Arthur” to follow various intriguing couples to their homes. They wait until the people leave and then break into the houses for the thrill of pretending to be the people, eating their food, fornicating in their beds, and generally goofing around.
Eventually, however, the stark reality of Charlotte’s dark inner nature comes to the surface. Arthur is forced to decide whether to keep faking his way through life or to return to his real persona and try to make that life more satisfying. Together, they face their realities and do the right things in the end. This provides a touching and beautifully crafted moral lesson.
ARTHUR NEWMAN is performed well by its lead duo, Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. Together, they achieve a strong screen chemistry, making this road-trip movie feel like an intimate character study of two intriguing yet flawed people. The script by Becky Johnston is filled with moments of surprise and wonder, both serious and humorous. The direction by Dante Ariola captures both kinds of scenes with precision. Finally, the music score is lovely and the cinematography glows.
However, ARTHUR NEWMAN contains an excessive amount of lewd content, including some strong foul language. Also, before the two protagonists change their ways, they engage in a lot of other immoral behavior, such as invading other people’s homes and smoking pot in one scene.
Despite its positive redemptive ending, ARTHUR NEWMAN is unacceptable viewing overall.
ARTHUR NEWMAN is well acted and directed. The script is full of moments of surprise and wonder, both serious and humorous. The two protagonists eventually do the right thing. This provides a touching, beautifully portrayed moral lesson. Despite its redemptive ending, however, ARTHUR NEWMAN contains an excessive combination of lewd, immoral content. There’s also some brief marijuana use.