Revolutionary Road is a story about two selfish, miserable people who make terrible choices in life, yell and fight at each other for no good reason, hang out with other stupid, miserable people, and somehow think to themselves that they are special in some delusional way. Why would anyone want to actually watch this?
The film tries, and miserably fails, at making the story about something deeper. You are supposed to believe that these characters are trapped, that it is our society that is the problem. That people just can’t be happy because there are so many rules and restrictions. But the truth is there’s not, even in the 50s which is where the story takes place. Frank and April have viable choices to lead a fulfilling and satisfying life, but they ignore them. They are too focused on themselves and what they don’t have, rather than what they do. They completely ignore their two children, which while an interesting plot point, contributes even more to these characters’ unlikability.
Movies are about characters, and the problem here is that the main characters are so unlikeable and dumb that you don’t give a damn what happens to them, whether they end up together, break up, live, or die. Rather, at one hour into this movie, you are praying that DiCaprio and Winslet will stop screaming at the top of their lungs so your headache can gradually dissipate.
Speaking of the actors, DiCaprio is awful. Normally a superb actor, here he overacts virtually every scene. Winslet is great as usual, but she is basically reprising her role in “Little Children.” The directing and story-telling is a mess. There is hardly any background to explain what attracted these characters to each other in the first place. Instead, we open with them fighting, and fighting, and more fighting. Why in the world would anyone care?
Revolutionary Road is best watched on DVD while you are ironing your clothes, clipping your nails, or vacuuming your room. You might as well be getting something useful done. Because it’s two hours of your life you will never get back.