• Warning: Spoilers
    An interesting exercise - saw this via Netflix at the recommendation of a friend. Wasn't disappointed, but mildly frustrated - a LOT of topics, some thoughtfully explored, a few touched upon & quickly dropped, with some outstanding work by skilled actors, and mostly tight, efficient direction.

    The suburban setting was letter perfect for the premise: two couples meet before a Halloween party, drink some "magic" blue wine, and get down to exploring truths. Their common ground initially is their focus on their children, whom we never see; misperceptions & frustrated hopes for their kids are uncovered and confronted. We also get believable, if somewhat rushed, glances at 9/11, atheism, suburban hypocrisy, career and money anxieties, etc - modern life.

    All four actors were excellent. Preston & White were the more vividly written couple; Preston had several chances to do her patented 'zany' characterization (see "The Good Wife"), and White was quite believable as an ambitious & somewhat oblivious MD. Interestingly, in a discussion of 9/11, bias d/t his ethnicity was only glancingly touched upon, an opportunity for deeper exploration unexplored. Rather, real and imagined sexual peccadilloes of both are mined.

    Raffo & Hutchison are less exotic, but the eventual history of their relationship is more heartfelt; they also seem to have a visible sexual chemistry not evident in the other couple. Raffo is touching in a somewhat underwritten role as a restless and disappointed mate to a man who, vaguely, is no longer as ... "exciting" as when they were married. Hutchison quite convincingly portrays a charming, somewhat goofy suburban dad who reveals unexpected depths; his reaction when he and Raffo discuss losing a child is immensely moving, and that discussion give the film a center it needs. Both he and Raffo deserve wider exposure.

    Less successful were the extraneous 'hooks' evidently meant to power the screenplay. The blue wine of truth was unnecessary - high-proof vodka would have done as well; 'roofies' (rohypnol) as an 'antidote' was just silly. Being an atheist or agnostic is not really so dumbfounding, right? The Halloween costumes were interesting, but extraneous; the trope of "two couples settling in for an evening of drinking and verbal jousting" is tried & true for a reason - it works, & doesn't need a lot of explication.

    Overall, an 8 - because I stayed interested until the end, and the acting was excellent.