Independent production company Occupant Films has been steadily releasing a new movie every couple of years since its 2006 debut All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, and upcoming release Better Living Through Chemistry continues the studio’s tradition of tackling slightly dark subject matter by taking a look at the modern day reliance on pharmaceutical solutions to life’s problems.
Sam Rockwell (The Way, Way Back) plays a timid pharmacist called Douglas Varney who is stuck in a loveless marriage with an overbearing wife (Michelle Monaghan). He begins an affair with a beautiful trophy wife, Elizabeth (Olivia Wilde), which soon finds him spiralling downwards into a pit of drug-addled depravity as she convinces him to dip into his own pharmaceutical stash.
The new trailer for Better Living Without Chemistry squeezes the film’s story into a standard romcom-ish package – complete with ‘hot person approaching’ guitar riff – but it seems like the actual tone will be more along the lines of a black comedy. Writer-directors Geoff Moore and David Posamentier have no other writing or directing credits to their name, so it’s hard to gauge quality based on their history, but based on the trailer Better Living Through Chemistry looks like a pretty entertaining spring release.
During the development of Better Living Through Chemistry the casting line-up was quite different, with first Paul Rudd and then Jeremy Renner attached to star in Rockwell’s part, and Jennifer Garner originally in talks for Wilde’s. The final cast also includes Ray Liotta and Jane Fonda, though it’s possible that these are just minor or cameo appearances.
Rockwell and Wilde are both regulars on the indie scene, with the former having starred in both of Clark Gregg’s directorial efforts (Choke and Trust Me), and the latter most recently seen in Spike Jonze’s very modern romance Her. Together they make for an interesting pairing, so let’s hope that the pills aren’t the only chemistry on screen.
Better Living Through Chemistry is out in theaters on March 14, 2014.