Real life couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt are reuniting on screen for the first time since 2005's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" in "By the Sea". But Angelina Jolie Pitt's third film as a director that swings for the fences, only to miss the mark.

Not even the star-power from the two leads can save this pretentious bore.

Set during the 1970s, the Pitts play an American writer named Roland and his wife Vanessa, who check in to a seaside resort in France trying to save their marriage.

At first it appears that the marriage is beyond repair, but things start to change when they meet newlyweds Lea (Melanie Laurent) and Patrice (Richard Bohringer).

Soon the couple's fascination with the newlyweds crosses into obsession, one that will either save their relationship or destroy it for good.

Jolie Pitt's direction is clearly going for a homage to European cinema, but it makes for a very sluggishly paced film where the audience is way ahead of the big reveal (which minor spoiler proves to be not that big).

I realize they are playing a troubled couple, but Jolie Pitt and Pitt have so little chemistry that it is hard to believe they are married in real life.

Jolie Pitt is especially miscast, playing a character that lacks confidence and feels she is no longer attractive to her husband. No matter how much she tries to look the part, it doesn't make the audience forget that it is still Jolie Pitt.

"By the Sea" does have a few moments that work, but nothing ever truly sizzles. The result is a film that is very flat, and easily forgettable.

"By the Sea" is rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, and language and opens Friday in Nashville.

Grade: C-


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