First, for the handful of obsessive film buffs out there who never read the tabloids, Mr. and Mrs. Smith has nothing to do with the 1940s screwball comedy of that name directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Instead, it is a curious hybrid of action movie and domestic comedy that stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as professional assassins who are married but have kept their jobs secret from each other. Each spouse has all sorts of gadgets and weapons hidden around the house, and each assumes the other has a regular, boring job. And perhaps, in trying to live up to their suburban disguise, they have let things become too boring.

The film begins with a nicely understated sequence in which the Smiths attend a counseling session with an offscreen marriage therapist, who asks how long they have been together. "Five years," says John (Pitt). "Six," says Jane (Jolie), with the sort of barely suppressed irritation that comes from bottling things up for too long. "Five or six," says John, in a way that indicates he knows his wife won't accept such a noncommittal compromise.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play husband-wife assassins

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play husband-wife assassins

At this point, moviegoers may recall that Pitt himself saw his marriage (to Jennifer Aniston) come to an end after five or six years together while he was making this movie, and that there has been much media speculation about the reasons for this. Suffice to say that such gossip has no place here; for me, at least, it was quite easy to forget about all that, once the story gets going. Indeed, the only other time I found myself thinking about the movie stars' real-life personae, it was during a scene in which the Smiths attend a neighbor's party, and one of the women hands a baby over to Jane, leaving her to look rather uncomfortable as she holds the child at an awkward ...

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Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for sequences of violence, intense action, sexual content and brief strong language)
Directed By
Doug Liman
Run Time
2 hours
Cast
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn, Adam Brody
Theatre Release
June 10, 2005 by 20th Century Fox
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