Marie and Bruce (2004)

Rating: 4.8/10 510 votes
Runtime: 90 min
Language: English
Country: US
Color: Color
IMDb Link:

Director: Tom Cairns
Julianne Moore ... Marie
Matthew Broderick ... Bruce
Bob Balaban ... Roger
Griffin Dunne ... Restaurant Guest
Julie Hagerty ... Party Guest at Frank's
David Aaron Baker ... Antione
Andy Borowitz ... Jim
Steve Burns ... Fred
Carl Burrows ... Mariner
Blossom Dearie ... Gwendolyn
Brother Eden Douglas ... Eccentric Dinner Guest (as Brother Douglas)
Marshall Efron ... Ed
Tom Riis Farrell ... Frank
Michael Ferreira ... Yvonne (as Michael McDerman)
Robert Gant ... Bartender
Robert Lehrer ... Leader
Campbell Scott
Christopher Evan Welch ... Party Guest
David Wiater ... Tim


Marie and Bruce is a day in the life of polar opposites trying to get away from each other yet still remain together. Imagine Moore in Magnolia and Broderick in Election and then accentuate the two in their wildly aggressive and passive directions. Both are unemployed. Bruce is a writer who has just found his classic typewriter out the window care of Marie, whose job is the jokester’s idea of what a wife does: nag and walk around barefoot.

Marie has had it with Bruce. We can’t figure out why since he’s such a pleasant, amiable guy who always calls his wife “darling”. Then we figure it out. He’s nothing but an amiable guy who says “darling” ad nauseum and seems to show less emotion than an alien pod. Marie’s morning demeanor would send sailors away from the port but she can’t seem to get rid of Bruce despite announcing her intentions to leave him.

We follow their misery from morning-to-night and try to keep ourselves awake while they both daydream. She wanders the streets with the guide of a stranded Golden Lab and fantasizes about a perfect life and fake CGI water that symbolizes suffocation, washing away of sins, take your pick. Bruce is so pathetic he rents a hotel room to masturbate. Luckily there’s a blonde across the way who likes to undress in front of her window. If he spent more time in there he’d probably see Lars Thorwald and the Ugly Naked Guy from Friends. Yeah, you’ll need your imagination a few times during this film.

The two of them eventually will end up at a dinner party where a spark in Bruce’s dialogue ignites the audience into what a satirical copulation this all could have been instead of such a languid minute-by-minute grind of unhappiness in motion. Broderick (with his natural comic timing) so matter-of-factly calls his wife a cunt that for a second we wonder if it’s such a taboo labeling after all. Identifying their problems like a fact-checker, Bruce suggests that Marie needs to “fuck him more” and it’s the one sign of life that he provides for himself and the entire movie.

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