An abused young wife (Macdonald, playing very bruised-but-winsome) meets up with a middle-aged hitman (Keaton, who also makes his directorial debut), and the two share their taciturn loneliness in The Merry Gentlemen. Meanwhile, the camera lingers on overcomposed shots signifying ”urban decay,” ”human alienation,” ”existential blues,” etc. Set during a joyless Chicago Christmas (hence the carol-like title), this Debbie Downer of a drama is a bitter slog. But there’s unintentional humor when Bobby Cannavale, as the abusive husband, finds religious salvation in a hysteria-prone monologue that must have been fun ? to practice in front of friends. D+
Genre: Drama; Starring: Michael Keaton, Kelly Macdonald, Bobby Cannavale, William Dick; Director: Michael Keaton; Author: Ron Lazzeretti; Runtime (in minutes): 96; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Posted May 2 2009 — 12:00 AM EDT
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