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    Review: Serious Moonlight Good News Only for Fans of Meg Ryan and Duct Tape

    Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Serious Moonlight Magnolia Pictures

    Review in a Hurry: Nope, Moonlight isn't another Twilight sequel, though it does feature a strange love triangle—no vampires or werewolves but a wildly unbalanced attorney and her philandering spouse. (So in a way, there is a bloodsucker and a wolf.) Sporadically amusing, this twisted little comedy could've used, well, a sharper bite.

    The Bigger Picture: Love stinks—and sticks—when a wronged wife tries to repair her broken marriage by duct taping her hubby to the toilet. Seriously. But Moonlight, too, gets stuck on occasion—narratively and spatially by the constraints of its stage-like setup.

    Meg Ryan plays high-powered lawyer Louise, who discovers that her husband, Ian (Ryan's French Kiss costar Timothy Hutton), plans to run off to Paris with his much-younger mistress Sara (Kristen Bell). Refusing to believe Ian no longer loves her, Louise knocks him out, binds him with tape, and—once he comes to—forces him to reexamine their relationship. 

    There's some fun in watching these uptight characters come unhinged—and seeing Ryan tweak her America's Sweetheart image. But the bickering scenes start to spin their wheels, until gardener Todd (Justin Long) just happens to ride by on a mower. Seizing the opportunity, Todd ties up Louise, threatens to kill the couple, and burgles the house with his buds.

    With lots of talk but few actors and locations (much of the pic takes place in the bathroom), Moonlight plays more like a stage play and then rushes its too-easy resolution. The script by late actress-writer Adrienne Shelly shares themes with her previous film, the kinder, gentler, and funnier Waitress, which also featured a dysfunctional union and extramarital tryst. While Moonlight clearly wants to be a nastier affair, with its winks to The Ref, War of the Roses, and even Misery, the film only flirts with the dark side when you wish it would fully commit.

    The 180—a Second Opinion: Louise is Ryan's best role in many years and (almost) makes up for that wretched remake of The Women.

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