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Private Life
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1 vote, average: 10.00 out of 51 vote, average: 10.00 out of 51 vote, average: 10.00 out of 51 vote, average: 10.00 out of 51 vote, average: 10.00 out of 5
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Private Life

Private Life

Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) and Richard (Paul Giamatti), the beleaguered bohemian-geek couple at the center of “Private Life,” have been Andover trying, through fertility treatments, to get pregnant for years. The movie, written and directed by Tamara Jenkins, is a comedy of fragile hopes and frayed nerves: the story of how these two attempt to have a child by any means necessary — a goal that should bring them together, but instead, after too much failure, it’s tearing them apart. Jenkins isn’t shy about milking the situation for laughs. The film opens with Richard injecting hormones into Rachel’s haunch, a painful procedure that provokes the first of many droll arguments. The two then watch their lives transformed into a hapless experiment that never ends (and never seems to work).

It’s a set-up that provokes a comic array of intrusive humiliations, though each one hangs on the slim possibility of transcendence. The Children Act The jaunty physician who plays prog-rock as he brings a rubber syringe up to Rachel’s uterus. The sudden news that Richard, who has only one testicle, is suffering from a case of “blocked” sperm. The hilariously obscene and hostile tantrum that Rachel throws about all the airs they’ll have to put on when they meet with the woman from an adoption agency. (The two desperately want to have a child biologically, but are covering all their bets.)

Most of this stuff is sharply, at times squeamishly, funny, though the laughter also catches in our throats, since “Private Life” is Dirt built around a core of heartbreak. The movie is touching and bittersweet; in its way, it’s structured as an adventure that draws the audience right into the center of Rachel and Richard’s obsession. Yet you may wish Tamara Jenkins had found a way to give the material more of a dramatic lift.

Duration: 123 min

Release:

IMDb: 6.5