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WE DONíT LIVE HERE ANYMORE

In this loose adaptation of two Andre Dubus short stories, four repugnant souls wallow in the depravity of their miserable marriages like pigs in shit. Jack (Mark Ruffalo) and Hank (Six Feet Underís Peter Krause) are literature instructors at a low-end college somewhere in rustic New England. Hank is the more prolific, getting published in the New Yorker; meanwhile, the two men take turns screwing each otherís wives. Itís a hateful existence that, fueled by alcohol, spirals into chaos, and as usual, itís the children who pay the price.

Todd Field made a fine film, In the Bedroom, from Dubusís story "Killings," but here director John Curran and writer Larry Gross donít seem to care where their characters have been or where theyíre going. All theyíre concerned with is the domino effect stemming from some "carnivorous fucking," as Jack puts it. Which is too bad, because the performers are up for the challenge, especially the women: Laura Dern as Jackís fraught, desperate wife and a doe-ish Naomi Watts, whose sensuality seems to take on celestial qualities. (101 minutes)

BY TOM MEEK

Issue Date: August 20 - 26, 2004
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