A Quiet Little Marriage



Okay, so even married couples have difficulties talking to each other, we get that. But the couple of "A Quiet Little Marriage" goes to such length not to talk about the major issue of their marriage that one wonders why they're even married.

Consequently, writer-director Mo Perkins' quiet little drama feels jerry-built: If it weren't for this loud silence -- and each marriage partner's implausible if not idiotic response to the unnerving quiet -- the whole dramatic impetus for the movie would vanish. Festival play is the only likely fate for this low-budget video effort.

The couple, played diligently though without much verve by Cy Carter and Mary Elizabeth Ellis, lives in a yuppified suburban world of Angeleno Heights, just west of downtown Los Angeles, a placid existence with NPR in the background, recreational pot smoking and friends coming to dinner to solve the world's problems over wine and home-cooked meals.

Trouble is she wants a baby and he most adamantly does not. End of discussion. One night she pokes a hole in her diaphragm. When he discovers her deception, instead of confronting her, he slips ground-up birth control pills into her coffee every morning. This goes on for some time.

To distract us from this unlikely story, Perkins creates two side issues: her dad suffers from Alzheimer's and his brother is a ne'er-do-well on drugs who turns up an inopportune moments. Each subplot feels like so much filler stuffed into a half-baked meatloaf. Each does have a moment of contrived crisis that plays into the war of silence between the married couple at just the right minute. So much so that the ending lacks any credibility.

Tech credits are drab and the paucity of locations begins to grate long before this quick, quiet 83-minute film plays out.