Director Adrian Lyne’s new film Deep Water (2022) stars Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas as a married couple who have a system in place to keep their marriage together: Vic (Affleck) has ignored his wife Melinda’s (de Armas) affairs in order to prevent a divorce. As Melinda makes a fool of him at a friend’s party by clearly flirting with Joel (Brendan Miller), Vic takes an opportunity to tell Joel how he killed Melinda’s last “friend.” Vic is kidding, of course – but events start to make those who know the couple, especially Don (Tracy Letts), question how much of a joke it really was.
The relationship at the center of this film is intense, making it hard to say I enjoyed watching this film. Melinda’s choices and her flippant attitude towards Vic is incredibly frustrating. Not to say Vic is innocent…but it is easy to see why he is so angry and jealous. Lyne’s other films often center around a troubled relationship, but his filmography features a few major gaps in my viewing history – especially Fatal Attraction (1987). After watching Deep Water and observing how the tension progressively rises, I am more inclined to check out Lyne’s other work.
There are a few memorable sequences in the film, and each is full of some great supporting performances. Letts, Dash Mihok, Rachel Blanchard, Lil Rel Howery, Jacob Elordi, and Finn Wittrock all add a lot to this film. Howery and Mihok are basically the best friends to Vic, and they add some much-needed comic relief in an otherwise pretty tense film. However, Affleck also has a bit of fun with some of the “boyfriends” played by Wittrock and Elordi. There is an interesting dynamic happening in this movie that makes things uncomfortable, yet funny and often sexy.
Deep Water is out on Hulu this week and is worth your time. It earns its R rating in more ways than one. There are some intense scenes and a few visceral moments that are quite jarring. It is a good reminder of the talent that Affleck can bring to production – especially when juggling dark comedy. Deep Water earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.