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Better Living Through Chemistry 2014 ***

The VOD sub-culture seems to be rich in the kind of quirky, adult fare that people don’t seem to see in the cinema any more; writers and directors Geoff Moore and David Posamentier’s Better Living Through Chemistry is a case in point, a raunchy, no-hold barred comedy about a small-town pharmacist who starts getting high on his own supply. Doug Varney (Sam Rockwell) is a put-upon father, married to cycling enthusiast Kara (Michelle Monaghan) and struggling to raise his son while under temptation from bored housewife Elizabeth (Olivia Wilde). With a little help from some chemical compounds, Doug transforms himself into a study man, a cheerfully irresponsible father who perpetrates ninja-vandalism, and a winner on the racetrack in Lance Armstrong style. There’s a price to be paid, but Better Living Through Chemistry manages to deliver Doug’s come-uppance in an unexpected way. A cameo and narration from Jane Fonda doesn’t quite fit, but on the whole, this is sprightly, enjoyable fare for grown-up audiences.


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