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aka GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
USA: Modernica Pictures
Cast: Bob Jay Mills, Petra Westen, Tacey Adams, Al Schuermann, Zia, Andrew Eichner, Jerry O'Conner, Scooter Stephan
Director: Frank Novak
USA: 82 mins
USA Rated: R for pervasive language, domestic violence and drug content
USA Release Date: 20 November 2002 (Limited Release - New York)
If you've ever wondered what the outrageous chain of events leading up to an appearance on THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW might look like, BETTER HOUSEKEEPING, provides one such scenario. Shot in a 'COPS-like' voyeuristic, 'reality' television style, by cinematographer Alex Vendler (THE BIBLE & GUN CLUB, KURT & COURTNEY), Frank Novak's sensitive, humanizing, portrait of working class domestic life gone awry, takes us play by play into the escalating drama (and comedy) surrounding the disintegration of Don (Bob Miller) and Donatella's (Petra Western) marriage.
While loud-mouthed Don (Bob Jay Mills) revels as the reigning, out-of-control king of his loser circle of beer guzzling, action figure collecting buddies, Italian immigrant, Donatella (Petra Westen) goes through a subtle breakdown that escapes the understanding of her concerned new, middle class, accountant lover Marion (Tacey Adams). The battle between husband and wife gets increasingly heated and Don builds a wall down the middle of the house to divide their living space, which further enrages Donatella. They are at each other's throats while they wait for their divorce to be finalized. The situation is so volatile, they won't speak directly to each other. Instead they use their 10-year-old son Don, Jr. (Andre Eichner) as a go-between to toss out legal warnings. Will they both live to see their divorce finalised or are they both too out of control?