The Wheelers – Frank and April – are admired in the neighborhood. They are a perfect couple for the outside world. In reality, their marriage is in trouble. April does not like the life in the suburbs. They have frequent arguments. During these arguments, Frank is pushed to the edge that he almost uses his fists.
On his 30th birthday, Frank is bored. He seduces a young secretary and spends the day at her apartment. When he returns home, April and kids surprises him with a birthday cake. The family parties. After the party, April suggests moving to Paris. Hearing this, Frank becomes uneasy. But, April convinces him. The family will move to Paris and April will find a job as a secretary since it is highly paid. Frank can find his true interests while April supports the family.
Frank and April announces Paris plans to their neighbors. Shep Campbell(David Harbour), who lives next door, and his wife are puzzled. But, they do no express their bewilderment in front of the Wheelers. Instead, they discuss it privately. Frank and April also tell their plans to Helen Givings(Kathy Bates). Helen is the realtor who sold them their house. Helen visits the Wheelers with her mathematician son, John Givings(Michael Shannon), who is undergoing psychiatric care. John is delighted to hear about the Paris move.
Frank also submits his resignation. But, his latest proposal has already got the attention from his boss and his boss offers him a new position, more prominent and also high paying. Frank has second thoughts. Meanwhile, April discovers that she is pregnant.
The rest of the movie tells us if Frank and April will be able to move to Paris or not.
Sam Mendes directs this drama. Like his earlier movie, American Beauty, this also focuses on life in a beautiful American neighborhood. He presents us with characters and slowly peels the layers to show us their inner self. When the characters are introduced, he successfully makes the audience believe there is more to them. But, the audience have to wait as he shows you what really drives these characters.
Leonardo DiCaprio is excellent as Frank. Frank wants to help his wife. But he ends up antagonizing her. He is frustrated for not able to console his wife and this fuels his anger. This is not an easy role to play. But, DiCaprio succeeds as Frank.
Kate Winslet is good as April. April is bored with the life in suburbs. She wants peace to think! She never gets it as Frank talks constantly. This drives her mad. But, she repents after the fight.
This is a serious movie and a good watch. However, some scenes are not suitable for kids. So, watch it at your discretion.
Picture Courtesy: Yahoo! Movies