Chris Fleck
Wednesday - January 26, 2011
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Greg Frey
Managing Attorney, Coates & Frey

Where and with whom did you see the movie?

At Ward Theaters with my wife, Mia.

Overall, what did you think?

It wasn’t exactly what I expected given the previews, but generally I thought it was certainly an above-average movie. As advertised, it is the classic dilemma - you know, two best buddies from way back. The one a not-so-popular brainiac and the other the super popular extrovert, but each helping one another be better people. One finds out about the affair of the other one’s wife, and wonders whether he should or should not tell. As I reflected on it more, it had a lot more meaning than advertised. Really what the movie is about is a character study of four people, the two men and their significant others, and the series of dilemmas between them.

How did the movie relate to your profession as a divorce attorney?

In terms of my business, when people are struggling in a marital situation they have all kinds of dilemmas including economic, psychological, sometimes violent or physical dilemmas and many times child dilemmas. I saw a lot of parallels between the film and what I do every single day, which incidentally includes the principal dilemma of the extramarital relationship, which is central in a lot of divorce cases and has been since the dawn of time, to be honest.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film?

I would give it ★★ 1/2.

Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes?

There were two scenes I found really interesting.The first was when Vince Vaughn seeks counsel about the dilemma from people he knows, but more humorously from people he doesn’t know, because he just doesn’t know what to do. He’s in a bank and just starts chatting up people in line with him about what they would do. And quite frankly he gets more confused than before he had asked.The other scene is after being armed with all the opinions of others,Vaughn then went and asked from a higher power, as he sat on a bus stop bench at night, what he could do because he was so perplexed.

To whom would you recommend this movie?

As I sat there with my wife of 25 years and with whom I was college sweethearts, I asked her, “Who is going to walk into this theater?” I was surprised by the number of young couples I saw walk in, given the nature of the film.

I would recommend this to anybody who is involved in not only a personal, intimate relationship, but any intricate relationship because dilemmas in this movie involve business associate dilemmas, or an intimate relationship, a marriage, a partnership. You can learn something from this movie well beyond the obvious adultery issue.

What about the acting? Did anyone stand out?

I have to tell you, while the stars are Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, and they do blend greatly in this movie, the ones who stand out are the secondary characters that swirl around them. Vince Vaughn’s girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly); the wife (Winona Ryder) played a very interesting role, I thought she was great; and the boyfriend (Channing Tatum), with whom Winona Ryder’s character was cheating on Kevin James’ character.

On a different note, what is new with you?

Professionally my office is really rejoicing over the UH Press’ recent approval of Brad Coates’ fourth edition of his book Divorce With Decency, which is really unheard of with UH Press because they have so many other offers. From a personal standpoint, I still enjoy my philanthropic endeavors above and beyond my business, including being on the board of Sacred Hearts Academy, and I am the newly elected president of the Saint Louis Alumni Association.

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