Directed by John Curran, starring Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, Peter Krause and Naomi Watts.

The Evanses and the Lindens have plenty in common - including two marriages in freefall. Hank Evans (Krause) and Jack Linden (Ruffalo) lecture in writing and literature respectively in a small college town, their friendship defined through running and beer drinking between and after classes. Hank's wife Edith (Watts) and Jack's wife Terry (Dern) are best friends and mothers who, like their husbands, feel unfulfilled. When Jack begins an affair with Edith and Hank and Terry's mutual interest deepens, all four are forced to ask themselves if they're better off together or apart.

Based on the short stories 'We Don't Live Here Anymore' and 'Adultery' by American author Andre Dubus, John Curran's film duly delivers some strong performances but ultimately has such a familiar feel that you'll be convinced you've seen the story told the same or better somewhere else. One of the key problems with Larry Gross' script is that it fails to focus enough on some of the relationships involving the quartet. The friendship between Krause's Hank and Ruffalo's Jack is instantly credible and engaging, while the domestic discord between Ruffalo and onscreen wife Dern provides the film's strongest scenes. However, the dynamic between Krause and Watts' characters is never properly explored and the two women have hardly any scenes together. Ironically, given the subject matter, repetition and missed opportunities lessen the impact of this film.

Curran and Gross do a better job at making your allegiances shift throughout, but for anyone who finds films about affairs boring, 'We Don't Live Here Anymore' could feel like being stuck in a bad marriage - for all the wrong reasons.

Harry Guerin