Spoilery Review: Better Living Through Chemistry


Life sucks for Doug Varney (Sam Rockwell), he’s got a thankless job under his father-in-laws thumb at the local pharmacy. Varney is the new owner, but his father-in-law is still in control. Doug’s wife Kara (Michelle Monaghan) has essentially castrated him and emasculates him every chance he gets. His son is going off the deep end and has taken to smearing shit all over his school. Luckily a lazy delivery driver forces him to meet a lonely housewife who changes his life forever.

Elizabeth Roberts (Olivia Wilde) is a lonely trophy wife who loathes her husband and dreams of murdering him for the money. In her Doug finds a way to rebel against his horrible cunt of a wife, but Elizabeth also gets him to start breaking Biggie’s 1st crack commandment. Never get high on yo own supply. Just as Doug begins to enjoy reveling in the sex and drugs with Elizabeth, DEA agent Andrew Carp[(Norbert Leo Butz) that can’t be his real name] shows up to inspect the inventory due to the change in ownership.

Naturally this sends Doug into a tailspin of fear and paranoia, exacerbated by the fun new drug cocktails he’s taken to making for his adulterous romps with Elizabeth. As things begin to spiral desperately out of control, they conspire to murder Elizabeth’s husband Jack (Ray Liotta) and abscond with the inheritance. Doug tampers with Jack’s pills and Elizabeth takes off for the beach.

But as Doug is drowning his worry at the local bar, he randomly runs into Jack and they become fast friends. Racked with remorse, he drives to check on Jack in the morning and believes he sees him dead in the living room. The guilt weighing on him he drives to turn himself in, but not before going to his son’s school for “Bring Your Dad to School Day.” Everything gets wrapped up in a neat little package. Doug gets his balls back, salvages his marriage, and gets out from under his father-in-law’s thumb.

I really enjoyed this movie. Sam Rockwell is one of my favorite living actors. His ability to seamlessly blend sincerity and comedy is second to none. Olivia Wilde is great as the desperate housewife and Michelle Monaghan kills it as the overbearing wife. Everyone in this movie plays their role exceptionally well. True the movie is full of stereotypical characters, but they are all acted well so it’s easy to overlook. It’s a great dark comedy, but definitely more comedy than dark. Give this movie a watch for some good laughs.

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