Actors: Patrick Wilson, Scott Foley, Greg Grunberg, Amy Acker, Dagmara Dominczyk
Director: Scott Foley
Format: Blu-ray, Widescreen
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Well Go USA
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Run Time: 83 minutes
I have had many comedic actors explain to me the enjoyment that they had working on a film with many of their friends. This is an easy concept to understand, even for those of us on the outskirts of the entertainment industry can relate to the ways in which a poor job can be improved by co-workers we can also call friends. Apparently, the case is also true for the filming of bad screenplays, because there are countless awful films made by a group of people that like each other. Perhaps this comes from an unwillingness to be honest about the content that doesn’t work, or maybe having your buddies with you at work can be more of a distraction to the creative process. Whatever the reason, the group of friends, couples, and former co-workers that came together to make Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife should be ashamed at how utterly unsuccessful this dark comedy is. How ironic that the tagline is “Real Friends Do the Dirty Work.”
Written, directed, produced, and starring Scott Foley, Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife also co-stars his real-life wife, Marika Dominczyk, along with an assortment of other friends and their spouses. Patrick Wilson and his wife Dagmara Dominczyk (sister of Marika) are also in the cast of couples, along with real-life couple Amy Acker and James Carpinello (who also brought along family member Ava Carpinello for her unimpressive film debut), and Foley’s former “Felicity” co-star, Greg Grunberg. Oddly enough, it isn’t even the nepotistic casting that makes this film impossible to endure, but rather Foley’s complete ignorance of both the comedy genre and the darker sub-genre that the first half of this film seems attempting to exist in.
The impossibly one-dimensional plot involves a group of friends (Acker, Foley, Dominczyk, and both Carpinellos) who grow increasingly irritated by the emasculation of their longtime friend, Ward (Donald Faison), whose wife has morphed into a monumentally rude tyrant after the birth of their first child. Stacey (Dominczyk) is an awful person to the point of ridiculous caricaturing, asking for a more dramatic death scene than the anti-climactic death by cake that accidentally occurs during a birthday party. The remainder of the film is a failed attempt at comedy-of-errors as the friends try to cover up the accident turned into murder, with the prying eyes of a cop living next door to worry about.
Dark comedies can begin such as this one, but Foley’s unwillingness to commit to the ugliness of these actions makes the second half of the film feel like a weak-ass apology for the first half, which was not nearly edgy enough for the filmmaker to shy away so quickly. They try far too hard to justify the actions of the group of friends, rather than seeing them fall apart and turn on each other like this narrative needed for the second half to be at all engaging. Instead, we are forced to watch a group of bumbling fools justify their ugly behavior with dull and uninspired dialogue and a series of mishaps that are too mild to save the dying narrative. Nothing is funny and nothing is suspenseful. Nothing about Foley’s film gives me confidence that he has abilities beyond getting family and friends to participate in this backwash narrative from better films. It is offensively dull; a film filled without a single enjoyable or believable moment amongst the incestual cast.
The special features on the Blu-ray include outtakes (incompetence provides many of these) and a trailer. The high definition does little for the film, other than make errors such as crew members walking through scenes more apparent. It is also clear many of the shots are not quite in focus, though this is sadly not the worst of the problems with Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife.
Entertainment Value: 1.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 1/10
Historical Significance: 0/10
Special Features: 1/10