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Year: 2004
USA: Warner Bros Pictures
UK: Redbus Film Distribution
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, Peter Krause, Naomi Watts, Sam Charles, Haili Page, Jennifer Bishop, Jim Francis, Amber Rothwell
Director: John Curran
Country: USA
USA: 101 mins
UK: 99 mins
USA Rated: R for sexual content and language
UK: Certificate: 15 contains one use of very strong language and strong sexual theme
USA Release Date: 13 August 2004 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
UK Release Date: 17 June 2005


In their small New England college town, Jack Linden (Mark Ruffalo) and Hank Evans (Peter Krause) are the best of friends. Fellow instructors at the university where Jack teaches literature and Hank, writing, the two enjoy the camaraderie of men who have shared interests and similar circumstances.

Both fathers of young children, the men's home lives, however, are markedly different. The Linden household is chaotic and cluttered; Jack's wife Terry (Laura Dern) is a headstrong woman but a distracted homemaker, overwhelmed by the never-ending cycle of chores and bills in the struggle to keep up a house with two young children. Hank's Edith (Naomi Watts), on the other hand, keeps an immaculate home - quiet and tidy -- free of distractions for her husband, a writer with a bad case of writer's block, and their solemn daughter.

The couples have each other over for dinner often, enjoying the conversation and company, laughing and flirting as friends do. But Jack and Edith have been disappearing at the same time lately, and Terry is beginning to notice. One night, the two volunteer for a beer run, and Terry is left alone with Hank. Unexpectedly, Hank makes a move and kisses Terry.

After the Evanses leave, the Lindens argue. Terry tells Jack of the overture and confronts him with her suspicions. Jack counters, accusing Terry of being tempted. The next morning, Terry is sheepish, but Jack is disinclined to put her at ease. Pushing Terry's buttons has become second nature to him, but making up has become increasingly difficult.

As the summer progresses, Jack and Edith's affair blooms and continues into Fall but ultimately the crunch time comes and the couples must sift through the layers of betrayal and self-deception to face their marriages, each other, and ultimately, themselves.

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