The big problem, though, is that this is an empty movie, the type that uses a somber tone to signify weightiness instead of any actual weight. It's structurally inane, using pointed dialogue and a flashback structure to build to a BIG REVELATION that would probably have been more dramatically interesting if we had known it from the start. And even worse, just when it gets to the point where the characters will have to deal with the consequences of their choices, the film completely cops out by
Honestly, this ending made me pretty angry. I guess I could give the film credit in one respect, because usually the big tragic death happens to the woman in the film. So, strike one for gender equity! Yet even in that very narrow respect, the film manages to frame his death as something that was basically something she caused - she threatens to leave him, and he literally keels over dead at the thought. I mean, come on.
At the same time, this is a movie that its makers obviously feel has feminist themes, but it's unconvincing on these grounds as well. We see in flashbacks that she was a willing participant in hiding the true authorship of his books; indeed it is presented as her idea in the first place. One might say that gender inequality forced her into that role, but based on what? One female author tells her it's hopeless so she decides her only hope is ghostwriting her husband's books? I don't really buy it - not to deny the sexism in the publishing (or any other) industry, but who is this character who is so persistent in applying her passion while simultaneously so easily discouraged by the obstacles? She doesn't make sense to me.
And again, it's all moot anyway, because as soon as the two of them finally get past the side-eyed glances and passive-aggressive one-liners and confront each other about their circumstances, the movie just kills Pryce's character off instead of having these characters deal with it. It renders everything that came before it inconsequential and sinks any kind of potential thematic payoff. How pointless ... it's just bad writing.