Don't worry, this isn't a movie that shows you how to actually kill you wife. As a matter of fact, it's more a movie that shows you how to NOT do it, which at the very same time actually is my main problem with this movie. Not that I want to kill anyone (yet) but it divides the movie too much into two separate parts, that don't work out together too well.

And no, this isn't a remake of the 1965 Jack Lemmon comedy by the same title. It's actually a movie that's based on a true story, that took place in New Zealand in 1977. It's one of those movies that makes you wonder how much truth is actually in it though. After all, it takes a comedic approach to its premise and features nothing but extremely exaggerated, almost cartoon-like, characters. This isn't really a complaint though, since I'm pretty sure that the movie wouldn't have been much good to watch without any of its comedy and lightheartedness but at the same time it also feels weird of course for a movie with a premise such as this one, that involves a murder and is based a true story, to take a comedic approach and to go for laughs, rather than any kind of drama or suspense.

I'm not sure if the premise itself was even good enough for a movie. It's only 'special' because it involves the murder by an elderly, tender looking, guy on his wife but other than that, there isn't much special to the story really. I kind of liked the fist half of the movie, that was all about the planning of the murder but I can't really say the same about the second half as well. So the first half is all about planning the perfect murder but once the crime is committed..well, it's far from the perfect murder really. The main character does the one stupid thing after the other and makes mistake after mistake. Really, the title instead should have been "How NOT to Murder Your Wife". All the hard work, planning and buildup doesn't amount to much, once you see the eventual outcome of it all. It makes you wonder; what exactly was the point of the first half of the movie?

Sure, it sets the tone and setups all of the characters for the movie but still, once the second half kicks on you'll soon start to realize that it's in too much contrast with its first half. The fun and lightheartedness of it all is still the same but the story does start to shift a bit. While the first half of the movie was still all about the Alf Benning (Simon O'Connor) character and told pretty much everything entirely from his perspective, the second half gets told more from the viewpoint of the police officer who got put on the case. He never shows up in the first half and the police doesn't play a role at all in it, so when it happens it all seems a bit too sudden and like an odd choice for the movie to suddenly switch sides. I have to say that it even made the main character look unsympathetic. In the first half you still were able to feel his 'pain' and understand his actions and motives but in the second half, when everything gets told from the 'opposing' side, he suddenly seems like a big, unsympathetic, fool. You even want him to get caught and convicted, which isn't an odd thing to want but it is for this movie, in which you are clearly supposed to care and feel for the main character, considering how his character got treated and the story got buildup like during its first half.

But really, it's just an harmless little movie to watch. Nothing too special or memorable but certainly nothing too terrible either. So its story doesn't also work out too well but luckily that never turns the movie into an horrible or annoying one to watch. It's definitely still a fun lighthearted movie, that's all about its comedy and never any drama or other aspects really.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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