WILL Atenton (Daniel Craig) is a successful publisher in Manhattan who abandons the city to spend more time with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and daughters Dee Dee and Trish in the suburbs.
While reconnecting with his family, Will learns their home was once a murder scene, where a mother and her brood were slain at the hands of a wrathful husband. Ann Paterson (Naomi Watts) and her teenage daughter Chloe (Rachel G Fox), who live across the street, clearly know something about the horrific case but are reluctant to speak to Will.
Then a mysterious stranger begins to spy on the Atentons, compelling Will and Libby to piece together the clues.
Dream House is, alas, more of a nightmare for everyone involved. Jim Sheridan’s suspense film creaks with familiarity, applying the same plot mechanics as Shutter Island and John Carpenter’s The Ward. The inexpressiveness of leading man Craig does the film few favours. His stricken hero is neither endearing nor sympathetic and we couldn’t care a jot if he unravels the mystery of his New England townhouse. Weisz and Watts are poorly served, unable to find any emotional depth in their two-dimensional heroines. The histrionics of the fiery finale don’t make a great deal of sense but since Craig is as wooden as the homestead with so many dark secrets, at least there’s the tantalising possibility of his crusading father going up in flames.
Romantics Anonymous (15)
JEAN-Rene (Benoit Poelvoorde) is the socially awkward boss of an ailing chocolate factory who exudes an air of confidence but is timid as a mouse with the opposite sex. Indeed, he is in counselling to boost his self-belief, sharing woes with his understanding therapist.
Angelique (Isabelle Carre) secures a position as a saleswoman for the factory, mistakenly believing that she had been applying for a job as a chocolate maker.
Unable to shatter her new boss’s hopes, she tries to flog the factory’s wares but it quickly becomes clear her new workplace is heading for financial ruin.
Unbeknown to Jean-Rene, Angelique happens to be a talented, hermetic chocolate maker responsible for the dreamiest soft centres and pralines in the whole of Paris. Under her secretive pseudonym, she throws the business a lifeline by creating a daring new line of confectionery, which ignites Jean-Rene’s dormant desires.
Romantics Anonymous is a moreish, offbeat comedy about two social misfits brought together by the sensual delights of chocolate with strong performances from Poelvoorde and Carre, who are sweetly matched.