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Shocking but true: Eden’s title is meant ironically. Director Declan Recks’s film, which opens on Friday, February 6, at the Starz FilmCenter, focuses on Billy (Aidan Kelly) and Breda (Eileen Walsh), a working-class Irish couple whose relationship is frequently described by their friends as ideal even though no evidence of its perfection ever appears on screen. They zombie-walk through a marriage whose sexlessness causes them to react in disparate ways; he spends every free moment in the pub, hoisting pints with the lads and ogling a ripe young woman who specializes in slow-motion hair-tossing (Sarah Greene), while she sadly masturbates in the bathtub. Walsh’s despair abates for a time as she prepares to go out on the town with Billy for their anniversary. But Recks, working from Eugene O’Brien’s adaptation of his play, ladles on the gloom so heavily that any possibility of rekindled romance soon drowns. Although the presentation’s relentless bleakness implies that painful truths are being unearthed, the central relationships surrender to stereotypes rather than transcending them — a drawback exacerbated by glacial pacing and a monochromatic tone that transforms the plot into a dreary slog toward inevitability. Eden, it ain’t.

Starz is at 900 Auraria Parkway in the Tivoli; call 303-595-3456 or visit for showtimes.
Feb. 6-12, 2009


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