Martin Freeman and Mandy Moore play an urbane married couple in London who find their marriage at a nine-year-itch. The frequency of their love-making is, we’re told – “once or twice a month”, and, witnessing the disintegration of the marriage of their close friends after the husband has an affair, leads the two to question the strength of their own marriage. They try various methods to cure their marriage – from her attempting to masturbate with a cucumber to him dressing up as a fireman in an attempt to instil some spice into it – but all fail miserably. Finally, the idea of swinging is suggested.
Mandy Moore, who was surprisingly funny as the sanctimonious, evangelical Christian teenager in in Saved!, gives another strong performance here, a capable blend of comedy and drama. Her acting in the cucumber scene was hilarious and she never veers into the “nagging wife” caricature at any point. At the same time, Martin Freeman re-visits the lovable shtick that suited him so well as The Office’s Tim. The supporting performances are all equally good, not least Melissa George as the mother who’s devotions, having swung to her kids, has lost her husband’s. The two leads have an easygoing, likeable chemistry that produces some charming moments at times, and the backdrop of London - I spotted Primrose Hill in one scene - gave the film - as it frequently gives films shot in London - a scene of whimsy and magic.