The "Revolutionary Road" review (or the one in which R.C. wants to KILL herself)

Every once in a while, two amazing actors will come together for what is purported to be the film of the year. So, naturally I nipped over to the theater, desperate to taste the fruition of 11 years. Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, together again. There's no way you'd walk out disappointed. Or suicidal.

My ticket to Revolutionary Road should have come with a revolver.

I don't remember the last time I ever walked out of a movie so incredibly depressed. The audience filed out of the theater in complete silence to the soundtrack of the soft piano that played alongside the rolling credits. They called it Revolutionary Road. I called it A Nightmare on Elm Street, because I wanted to KILL MYSELF after watching it.

The film was based on Richard Yates's novel of the same title, and as far as I can tell stayed true to the source. According to those who have read it, the book was just as bleak as the movie. Even Yates agrees. In the October 1999 issue of the Boston Review, Yates was quoted on his central theme: "If my work has a theme, I suspect it is a simple one: that most human beings are inescapably alone, and therein lies their tragedy."

Um, wow. Excuse me while I go HANG MYSELF from the light fixture.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am all for sad. Sad is great! Hell, I use it more than I ought to in my writing. But this? This was bleak. This was worse than bleak: this was hopelessly empty. THEY EVEN SAID IT IN THE MOVIE!! While I can appreciate a dressing down of the fluffy portrait that the 50's painted, I can't deal with films that claim to have a purpose. This film had no such thing. It was just one incredibly long piece of total and complete OSCARBATION. (Although I'm feeling a bit vindicated, as it was not nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film.)

However, Leo and Kate do not disappoint as Frank and April Wheeler, a pencil-pusher and a failed actress. Both are at the top of their game, and their relationship will put you through the wringer. The ending scenes will literally leave you broken, as shattered as one of Kate's shiny ceramic dishes. And you will never look at rubber tubing the same way again. There is a sense of extreme awkwardness that permeates their relationship, despite their best efforts.

The one character I really enjoyed was Michael Shannon's John Givings, a once-brilliant mathematician who is in and out of a mental institution. Having endured 37 electroshock treatments he's forgotten all his math. However, he is blunt and does not abide by the unspoken conduct rule of that time, asking explicit questions and revealing the ugly truths about marriage, and the Wheelers, themselves. His performance was amazing and he totally deserves his Oscar nom.

But the successes of the film do not outweigh the failures. It was long, it was draggy, it served no purpose, and its conclusion felt far too forced and abrupt. I realize that it was working off of the novel, so perhaps my issues lie with Yates.

Either way, I would suggest popping a couple of Zoloft before seeing this film. You'll need it.

I give Revolutionary Road 2.5 out of 5.

"Wow. I'm seeing my wrists in a whole new light."