Margo (Michelle WIlliams) meets Daniel (Luke Kirby) on a Colonial tour, in which actors are put in stocks and whipped for committing adultery. This bit of foreshadowing (Daniel goads her into administering the lashing) is a clue as to the moral dilemma that involves Margo, Daniel, and ultimately Margo's husband, Lou (Seth Rogan).
The theme of marriage, temptation, boredom and adultery is hardly new fodder for exploration, but it does have an endless fascination. This tale of hipster attraction, lust and flirtation does not add anything particularly intriguing to the mix. Michelle Williams does a good job with the complicated character of Margo, who seems literally lost in her own neuroses and insecurities. She swings from childlike timidity to really bold flirting without much in between, and the instant hot attraction between she and Daniel leaves her understandably emotional and highly charged. Daniel, it turns out, lives right across the street from Margo and Luke (how did they not know this?) and he also veers from boldness - he literally stalks her 24/7 -- to suddenly turning morally righteous just as he's about to get what he wants. These two tease each other in a way that I found infuriating. Of course, they say and do things that real people operating under the conventions of civility would never say or do, but when it comes to pulling the trigger, they both back off.
Most puzzling to me was the character of Luke (Seth Rogan), Margo's husband. A writer of cookbooks involving chicken, he is a charming manchild with a strange distaste for touching his pretty wife. She, clearly in love with him, tries on countless occasions to "seduce" him (her words), only to be spurned with no explanation each and every time. They behave towards each other like kindergarten children with a crush. They "play" with each, tickle each other, he dumps cold water on her in her shower (why???) but he will not sleep with her. Is he gay? Asexual? At one point he mutters something about "not deserving her" which does nothing to clarify the situation.
My favorite performance in the movie was that of Sarah Silverman. She seems natural, is her usual bold, profane self, and adds a dimension of reality to a movie which is so subtle and nuanced it gets in its own way. "Everything new gets old" is hardly a startling new revelation, and unfortunately, this treatment of that theme ultimately fails to satisfy.