Three’s a Crowd (1990)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on August 13, 2017 in 2 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Tales from the Crypt

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Three's a Crowd (1990)
Three’s a Crowd (1990)

Main cast: Gavan O’Herlihy (Richard), Ruth de Sosa (Della), Paul Lieber (Alan), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: David Burton Morris

Three’s a Crowd follows the mental breakdown of a husband as he increasingly suspects that his wife is cheating on him. Richard and Della are married, but he becomes increasingly paranoid when she spends more time with Alan, his friend and the best man at their wedding. It doesn’t help that she went out for four hours, when the episode opens, and comes back to show off a fur coat that Alan bought for her. On the wedding anniversary of Richard and Della.

As the story unfurls, it turns out that they are currently staying at Alan’s big house, as Richard struck out recently in his business dealings and they had no choice but to accept Alan’s invitation to stay with him as a way to celebrate their anniversary. Richard feels that Alan is deliberately showing off how much of a success Alan is compared to Richard, perhaps in an effort to woo Della. With his bruised ego out of control and a liberal amount of alcohol, Richard is slowly pushed over the brink, and you know he’d take Alan and Della over and down with him.

What could have been an interesting and chilling character study, though, is marred by simplistic strokes used to paint the characters. Della comes off as either very stupid or insensitive, often ignoring Richard to talk privately or cozily to Alan, and come on, accepting a fur coat from another man is surely throwing more fuel to the fire when she knows that her husband is becoming jealous. And rubbing the man’s cheek and flirting with him in front of the husband? Since she is not deliberately trying to make her husband jealous, she comes off like an utter moron.

Alan also doesn’t help matters by letting Richard know that he harbors a crush on Della and he’d always regret losing her to Richard.

Gavin O’Herlihy has this manic, demented facial expression that makes him perfect to play Richard, but alas, his performance is wasted in an episode that is basically all about a wife who is just too stupid for words. While it is hard to condone the tragic denouement in this episode, it’s just as hard to deny that Alan and Della are just asking for it. They feed the increasingly unhinged Richard with their unnecessarily shady behavior. Not that Richard is a sympathetic victim – the man is a jealous, bad-tempered control freak.

At the end of the day, Three’s a Crowd is about unpleasant dolts who stupidly enable one another’s nonsense, and good riddance to all three of them.

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