The Delinquent Season

On the plane home I watched The Delinquent Season, a feelgood comedy about the life affirming joy of extra-marital affairs.

Only kidding!

Cilian Murphy and [the bloke who played Moriarty in Sherlock] are two husbands, their wives two ladies whose names I missed, and together they are a pair of middle class couples who have dinner parties and beautiful houses in Dublin. The film begins with Moriarty being teed off at a dinner party, after which it transpires he’s dying of some disease and has figured the best thing in the circumstances is to be grouchy to his wife in the hope that’s what he’s remembered for.

(Both families have two primary-school aged kids, and that leads to the only moment of levity in the film, when Moriarty locks himself in the toilet so he can bleed profusely in peace, while one of his daughters inquires through the keyhole "are you doing a poo?" when he refuses to come out).

Moriarty belts his wife after she laughs at him when he bangs his head, so she goes round to stay at Cilian’s house, and when his wife is out (Cilian works from home) the two of them go to bed together, and then have a series of fairly joyless couplings in what looks like a downmarket Holiday Inn.

The couplings continue for a while, until Cilian has the inspired idea that they have Al fresco sex in a sand dune, they get laughed at by some teenage boys, Cilian defends his paramour’s honour by calling the mother of one of the boys a slapper, and gets a black eye.

Finally Moriarty reveals he’s dying, so his wife stops the affair, Cilian sulks in the Holiday Inn because she won’t come out to play, and so misses picking his kids up from school. Moriarty dies just as Cilian’s wife realises he’s having an affair (although she doesn’t guess who with) and then we’re off to the funeral.

Either they kept Moriarty around for a long time or things move pretty fast, because Cilian’s wife already has a new man who her kids love. Cilian picks a fight with him (and loses) then goes off to plead with his mistress to take him back. She doesn’t, he goes off and sulks some more, and then we fast forward again to find she’s changed her mind and wants him back, but he’s moved on and she has to go home and weep alone, because That Is The Destiny Of Unfaithful Women, and meanwhile Cilian has found semi-domestic bliss with a sharp tongued waitress who he copped off with just before the funeral as a palate-cleansing one night stand.

So I guess somebody got what they deserved? The plot is achingly predictable, the dialogue stilted and nobody seems very likeable. I guess somebody involved thought this film was a good idea. Or perhaps it’s better when you’re not on a plane.

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