“A funny story, in its way, about a man who wanted to poison his wife and found he’d be lost without her.” With these words, Richard (Pierce Brosnan) sums up the events of Ira Sachs’s second film. Note the careful qualification “in its way,” which already suggests that perhaps Married Life isn’t all that funny, and maybe not much of a story, either. In fact, it’s the first film at this year’s New York Film Festival that I wish I had walked out of.

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Married Life. Ira Sachs, 2007. *