The dark comedy "Let's Kill Ward's Wife" gets by on the casual charms and deft timing of its appealing cast until the midpoint, when the film's pacing and narrative structure take a hit — and never quite recover. Still, some loose laughs, a bold premise and a particularly amusing turn by the always-welcome Patrick Wilson make this indie trifle more watchable than not.
When a trio of old buddies — journalist Tom (Scott Foley), out-of-work actor David (Wilson) and personal trainer Ronnie (James Carpinello) — fantasize about killing their pal Ward's (Donald Faison) monstrous wife, Stacy (Dagmara Dominczyk), no one could predict that it would actually happen. But in a way that's both accidental and purposeful — and to no one's particular chagrin — Stacy does soon die.
The rest of the movie, which was written and directed by Foley, involves how these inept guys, along with Tom's wife (Amy Acker) and David's ex-spouse (Marika Dominczyk), dispose of Stacy's corpse guided mostly by Internet instructions. The result: a weird tonal shift and quite a few unpleasant moments.
On the upside, Stacy's demise has a near-magical healing effect on the guys and their relationships.
Foley's at-times slapdash script could have used more depth and back story — why in the world did Ward and Stacy stay together? — not to mention more tension and a stronger final showdown. But because this friends-and-family affair (Foley and Wilson are brothers-in-law, among many other real-life connections here) is ultimately more wacky farce than serious treatise, its anything-goes quality is largely fitting.
"Let's Kill Ward's Wife."
No MPAA rating.
Running time: 1 hour, 22 minutes.