I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE
Review by Gordon Justesen
Stars: Chris Rock, Kerry
Washington, Gina Torres, Steve Buscemi
Director: Chris Rock
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Surround, Spanish Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1, Full Screen 1.33:1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Features: See Review
Length: 94 Minutes
Release Date: August 7, 2007
ďWeíve been married close to seven years. My wife is beautiful, intelligent and a great mother. Itís the perfect life. Thereís just one problem: IíM BORED OUT OF MY FU**ING MIND!Ē
If there were two ingredients I wouldíve never expected to see blended together in a single movie, it would be Chris Rock and French cinema. Mr. Rock has enjoyed a lengthy career as a cutting edge stand up comedian and star of such hilarious hip comedies like Head of State and the remake of The Longest Yard. His latest film, I Think I Love My Wife, is a more mature effort from Rock, as it is a remake of the French film, Chloe in the Afternoon.
The film, which Rock co-wrote with frequent collaborator Louis C.K. and directed himself, can be best described as sort of an urban take on a traditional Woody Allen comedy. And although it shows a more mature side of Rock, the film also allows him to add in many humorous bits that fans of his stand up act will recognize on the spot. The result is a satisfying, and perfectly racy comedy about temptation and doing the right thing when it comes to relationships.
Rock plays Richard Cooper, a successful NYC banker who is blessed with the perfect marriage. He is married to a beautiful woman named Brenda (Gina Torres), and has two children. But in truth, itís all an illusion of a perfect marriageÖat least to Richard. He and Brenda havenít had sex in quite some time, and itís driving Richard insane.
Whatís driving Richard even more insane are the many excuses his wife makes for not having sex. True, both of them are always working, and Brenda is the one always tending to the kids during the day, but in Richardís mind, thatís no excuse. To make matters worse, the coupleís visit to a therapist arenít helping too much.
So Richard is sexually frustrated at a high level, and adding more fuel to the fire in that regard is an unexpected visit from Nikki Tru (the drop dead gorgeous Kerry Washington). One look at Nikki, who used to date a friend of Richardís, and he is tempted to go down a forbidden path. The temptation only increases when she expresses an interest in getting down and dirty with him.
Most of the film deals with Richard dancing with the possibility of having a steamy affair with Nikki. And trust me that I can sympathize with him at every mood. I mean, if I was in a marriage that was not experiencing any passion whatsoever, and I was getting daily visits from a woman who dressed and looked like Nikki, Iíd honestly be considering the path of sin.
What will Richard do? I wonít reveal what happens. But I can tell you that there are plenty of laughs to be had during this edge observation of marriage that Chris Rock as delivered.
In addition to Rock giving a finely tuned performance that is both funny and serious, he gets some nice supporting help courtesy of Steve Buscemi, playing a womanizing (and married) co-worker of Richardís, He has a priceless speech in one scene about why he doesnít think Richard could succeed in having an affair.
And letís talk about Kerry Washington, who I had seen previously in such films as She Hate Me and Ray. It is flat out impossible to take your eyes off of Ms. Washington in this film. She is the epitome of pure sexiness in her every scene. Watching her in this film, I can very much see her playing a femme fatale. And sheís not just a pretty face and body (and boy does she have one!), but she can really deliver on the acting as well.
I Think I Love My Wife is one of the better romantic comedies Iíve seen in quite some time because of its edginess. Romantic comedies have lost their edge over the years and play it safe but this one has the guts to be different and honest in its approach. Like he does in his stand up, Chris Rock had thoughtfully added a much needed level sharpness to the genre.
Fox has done an adequate job this time around with the video performance for this release. Mind you, I had a screener copy, so thereís a possibility that the finished version could be even more improved. The anamorphic picture (Full Screen version also included), is clear and crisp for the most part, despite a scene or two with noticeable edge enhancement but nothing to be put off by.
The 5.1 mix is downright perfect for this dialogue driven film. Spoken words are heard in the utmost clarity. In addition, music playback is wonderfully delivered, particularly a scene in a nightclub.
This two-sided release offers some nice bonuses. On both sides, there is a commentary track with Chris Rock. On the widescreen side, there is a featurette titled ďI Love Making This MovieĒ and a bonus trailer.
On the full screen side, there are Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, and a Fox Movie Channel making of featurette.
Chris Rock makes a revelation as a writer/director/star with I Think I Love My Wife. Itís racy and sweet at the same time, and very edgy at times. If you want a break from the norm in terms of the romantic comedy genre, then you should indeed check this one out!