Serious Moonlight (Blu-ray Review)

Serious Moonlight (Blu-ray Review)I’ve grown up watching Meg Ryan and it’s hard to believe she will be 50 this November.  So far, she has had a great acting career, but I don’t believe we’ve seen all the sides of Meg Ryan until now.  Serious Moonlight is simply Meg Ryan’s best performance.  In memory of his wife, Adrienne Shelly, Andy Ostroy produced the film, as it was her final script.  Adrienne Shelly was murdered in her apartment on November 1, 2006, where her husband found her hanging by a bed sheet in the bathroom. 

The Film 

Louise (Meg Ryan), a confident and successful attorney, arrives home early one day to find her husband of 13 years, Ian (Timothy Hutton), preparing to meet his young mistress Sarah (Kristen Bell) and leave for Paris.  Louise refuses to let Ian walk out on their marriage, so she goes nutty and knocks him unconscious and even duct tapes him to a chair.  Louise vows to keep Ian hostage until he realizes that he still loves her.  The story progresses as the gardener (Justin Long) breaks into the house with his friends.  Ironically, both Louise and Ian end up in the bathroom duct taped where they come to terms with reality and their marriage.  The climax of the film occurs when Ian’s mistress Sarah shows up at the house and joins Louise and Ian in the bathroom as duct tape hostages.

This film is a great dark comedy that will have you laughing and feeling sorry for the characters at the same time.  The cast and crew selection was perfect.  Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton create movie magic and pull you into their desperate situation.  The film is the directorial debut of Emmy® nominee Cheryl Hines (Curb your Enthusiasm), and she does a perfect job of capturing the dark desperation of a failing marriage, but she also sprinkles it with comic relief.

 Serious Moonlight


The quality of the video presentation was very good.  I was impressed with the sharp image, clarity and sense of depth.  It appeared to me as a near artifact-free video compression encoding.  There were no signs of aliasing, compression noise or other encoding deficiencies.  This film represents quality Blu-ray.  The 1080p resolution and ultra-fine detail was obvious even on 60 inches of screen.  Although the majority of the film takes place in a house, the color palettes are striking and dynamic causing the fabric and surface textures to appear authentic.  The low light and dark scenes in the film showed excellent contrast, good shadow detail, and deep black levels.  Overall, it was a good quality video transfer.

Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Serious Moonlight


The audio compliments the great video with a clear and crisp 5.1 DTS-HD surround track.  So many times during movies with a large amount of dialog the actors sound like they are whispering.  This is not the case for this film on Blu-ray.  The volume levels are balanced well and you can clearly hear the entire dialog without cranking the volume up.  The producers made excellent use of the surround sound by filling the side speakers with ambient noises from different floors of the house.  Although the majority of the film is dialog driven, it is clear that the producers made a conscious effort to utilize the 5.1 DTS-HD surround track to pull the audience into the film.

Serious Moonlight

Special Features 

  • Director and Producer Commentary  – The first special feature is an audio commentary track with the director, Cheryl Hines, and the two producers, Andy Ostroy and Michael Roiff.  The three make entertaining conversion and keep the track lively.  They talk about the script being a tribute to Adrienne Shelly and the process of making the movie.
  • The Making of Serious Moonlight I enjoyed this special feature because it shows behind the scenes interviews and comments from the cast and crew about the film.  Cheryl Hines talks about her experience directing the film, which is interesting because this is her debut film as a director.  Timothy Hutton talks quite a bit about the movie and how much he enjoyed working with the cast.
  • HDNet: A Look at Serious Moonlight – This special feature is similar to the previous special feature, but it contains some material that the making was missing.  This behind the scenes feature focused more on the cast and less on the story behind the script and the producers.
  • BD Live – The Blu-ray is BD Live enabled, but so far there is nothing to download.

Serious Moonlight

Final Thoughts 

This is clearly Meg Ryan’s best film to date and is a must see.  Everyone can identify with the characters in this movie because we all have experienced problems in our relationships.  The majority of current reviews of this movie claim that it was terrible.  I disagree and I think it should at least make it on your list of movie rentals. 


Bring home Magnolia’s Serious Moonlight today on Blu-ray!



Serious Moonlight Blu-ray Cover Art



1 Response to “Serious Moonlight (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    Hmm…this actually looks like a good film that may be worthwhile. Hey Gregg, it has Kristen Bell in it!