MARRIED TO IT abounds in sound and fury, signifying little, and its screechy, sitcom-thin treatment of the romantic travails of three New York City married couples can't make up for the lack of an interesting plot and engaging characters.
Hippies-turned-social workers John and Iris (Beau Bridges and Stockard Channing) cope at home with raising two boys (Jimmy Shea and Nathaniel Moreau) in a cramped apartment, and at work with government cutbacks. Wunderkinder investment banker Chuck (Robert Sean Leonard) and his wife, child
psychologist Nina (Mary Stuart Masterson), are apple-cheeked innocents just arrived from Iowa. Swimming with the sharks on Wall Street, Chuck gets bitten when colleagues, including his best friend Jeremy (Paul Gross), try to frame him in an illegal investment scam. Toy maker Leo (Ron Silver) is on
his second wife, Claire (Cybill Shepherd), but his acrimonious breakup with his first wife (Diane D'Aquila) has left his adolescent daughter Lucy (Donna Vivino) hurt, confused, and alone. The three couples are brought together by the private school where Nina works and the other two couples send
their kids, when they wind up working together on a musical-variety show put on by the school's kids.
Their weekly committee get-togethers come to focus less on the show than on their marriages, which are all under stress. John and Chuck envy Leo's marriage to Claire, who is stylish, sexy, and sexual. But Leo and Claire are both more concerned with their careers than with Lucy, who turns to Nina
for solace, without knowing that Nina is socializing with her parents. With neither willing to look after Lucy, Leo and Claire's union looks doomed. Meanwhile, both Nina and Iris resent the way their husbands dote on Claire: Chuck ignores Nina's ongoing support but finds time to admire Claire's
decorating talents, and John seems to lust after her sophisticated charms. Everything is put right at the climax. Chuck turns the tables on his persecutors. Nina and Iris read their spouses the marital riot act, while Claire makes the decision to stick it out with Leo and Lucy. Lucy makes a new
friend in Nina and ends the film singing "The Circle Game" at the school show with John and Iris' two boys, the older of whom is smitten with her.
MARRIED TO IT has a potentially interesting premise--taking three couples from three different strata of New York society and putting them together to see how they interact--but the characters are cliched and paper-thin, leaving the actors playing them to flounder under Arthur Hiller's
mechanical direction. In fact, the three couples never truly interact; their scenes together feel forced and obligatory, wallows in stale gags and sitcom platitudes that give way to the inevitable climaxes of hugs and tearful resolves to be more sensitive and supportive in the future. Leo gets to
rail with righteous rage against his spiteful ex-wife and blow up at Claire when she refers to Lucy as "baggage" in his life; Claire gets to realize that living with this blowhard is more fulfilling than her "silly" independence. Chuck gets to be the martyr triumphant in his court case, while Nina
has to point to the swell curtains she made out of scrap material to assert her importance in his life. John can hold forth nobly on 1960s values at his sons' school only to be stifled by their politically correct--black female--teacher. Iris counters John's proletarian lust for the high-toned
Claire by insisting that her boobs are as good as Claire's. In all, MARRIED TO IT is a noisy, empty, feature-length bummer. (Profanity, adult situations.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: MARRIED TO IT abounds in sound and fury, signifying little, and its screechy, sitcom-thin treatment of the romantic travails of three New York City married couples can't make up for the lack of an interesting plot and engaging characters. Hippies-turned… (more)