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Better Living Through Chemistry (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)

3.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Sam Rockwell stars as Doug Varney, a small town pharmacist with an overbearing wife (Michelle Monaghan) and an uneventful life running the drugstore he bought from his insufferable father-in-law. Following a chance encounter with a lonely trophy wife (Olivia Wilde), Doug embarks on an exhilarating drug-and-alcohol-fuelled affair with the most glamorous woman he has ever met. Take a walk on the wild side in this murderously funny dark comedy which also stars Ray Liotta and Jane Fonda.

Special Features

  • Digital Copy of Better Living Through Chemistry (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.)
  • Includes UltraViolet (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.)

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Ray Liotta, Jane Fonda
    • Directors: Geoff Moore, David Posamentier
    • Writers: Geoff Moore, David Posamentier
    • Producers: Joe Neurauter, Felipe Marino
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Ultraviolet, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: Italian (DTS 5.1), German (DTS 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
    • Subtitles: Bulgarian, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: All Regions
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      NR
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2014
    • Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2016 (Click here for more information)
    • Run Time: 92 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00I9CSXIW
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,120 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 14, 2014
    Format: Amazon Video
    "Better Living Through Chemistry" (2014 release; 92 min.) brings the story of Doug Varney (played by Sam Rockwell), who is stuck in an unhappy marriage, and who has just bought the pharmacy from his father-in-law. One evening, Doug is making house deliveries of prescriptions, and one of those deliveries is to a McMansion, where the doorbell is answered by Elizabeth, a beautiful yet bored and unhappy housewife (played by Olivia Wilde). It's not long before Doug and Elizabeth hit it off, setting Doug on a path of personal discovery. In a parallel story, Doug is dealing with his 12 year old son who is going through a tough stretch himself. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

    Couple of comments: first, this is the big screen debut of Geoff Moore and David Posamentier, who co-directed and also co-wrote this original screenplay. Second, this is one of those 'little' indie movies that just could, as the movie doesn't take itself too seriously yet before you know it 90 min. have come and gone. Third, the character of Doug is of course crucial to the success of the movie. Originally schedule to be played by Jeremy Renner (who bowed out due to schedule conflicts), Sam Rockwell, whom we saw excel just last year in "The Way, Way Back", gives a commanding performance as Doug, and basically carries the movie on his shoulders. There are many other smaller choice roles, including of course Olivia Wilde, but check out also Ray Liotta as the husband of Elizabeth (max 15 min. of screen time), and Jane Fonda as herself at the very end (in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it role, but she does provide the voice-over along the movie). Fourth, the movie was filmed in and around Annapolis, MD, which looks just gorgeous.
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    Super funny. Sam Rockwell does a great job of playing his somewhat downtrodden character. And Olivia Wilde complements him well. Overall, an easy, funny, low stress movie that's only an hour and a half long.
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    what a wonderful little movie. Sam Rockwell as the poor put upon husband who now owns a pharmacy even though his father-in-law who he bought it from doesn't acknowledge it. Michelle Monaghan as his wife who thinks he is nothing. Ray Liotta as the husband of the mistress Olivia Wilde who is introducing Sam to a whole new and exciting world through sex and pharmaceuticals. there it is in a nutshell and you will absolutely enjoy it and have some fun with it and just smile a lot. Pure entertainment and worth the time to watch.
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    The voiceover kinda ruined this movie for me. I guess it was meant to give this story the feeling of a fable but it just felt intrusive, as in, "What are you doing talking during my movie?" Casting was off on this one. Though I love Rockwell, I felt his natural charisma came through too much for a guy who's supposed to be pent up, beaten down, repressed. Didn't feel right. I didn't like Moynahan's (more of a hippy chick then a perfectionist housewife), Wilde's or Liotta's casting either. The characterizations and writing were off. They were near fits but not perfect fits. I'm also not comfortable with the cheeky endorsement of recreational prescription drug use and the casual dispensing of a peripheral character...(what? his life is less important because he doesn't have a prestigious job?). This movie is watchable but I think it's more for the suburban crowd.
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    Sam Rockwell gives a humorous performance in regards to a husband dealing with his bossy wife and father-in-law, while being a good father, and a really, intimate, close friend to the young beautiful, drug using, trophy wife living in his small neighborhood.
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    Format: DVD
    In a small idyllic town, the village pharmacist knows everyone's secrets. Doug Varney (Sam Rockwell) has a fitness compulsive wife (Michelle Monaghan) an unruly child (Harrison Holzer) and an irritating narrator (Jane Fonda). Stuck in a rut he meets rich wife Elizabeth (Olivia Wilde) who breaks Doug out and instills confidence in him through an affair and pills.

    The film reminded me of a generic Magnolia indie. Let's throw together some quirky characters, get a couple of names, create an unlikely scenario, toss in a few cliches, an appropriate sound track and stir. There was nothing overly entertaining in the film, yet at the same time I wasn't bored waiting for something to happen. For those who can't get enough of the clever and quirky indies, you might get a quick fix from this film.

    Parental Guide: F-bomb. Sex.
    Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Way better than I had anticipated! The cover of the movie doesn't do it justice. It's a story about Mr. Varney, who is being used and belittled by his wife and coworkers. He then meets a woman who opens his eyes into what he's been missing. Mr. Varney then embarks on a drug and alcohol fueled affair that leads to great comedic achievements from the cast. This movie is lead my the hilarious Sam Rockwell and he should have gotten some recognition for this film. It's a great comedy that is sure to make you laugh.
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    Excellent cast, dark comedic moments. Anyone that has been down the road of using or needing prescription medication to get through the trials of life should definitely get some good laughs out of this one. Bought it rather than renting...have watched it three times so far. I was pretty familiar with Ray Liotta, Olivia Wilde and Jane Fonda's body of work but after this movie I'm looking up more of Sam Rockwell and Michelle Monaghan....those two slipped by me but I'm finding their stuff to be very entertaining.
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