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Mr. and Mrs. Smith–Trust Issues

The mini-series, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which premiered in February of this year on Amazon Prime, is much more than a remake of the popular 2005 movie starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  While still  anchored in a main plot of espionage hijinks, now the drama has been embedded within  a rom-com  infused  by the chemistry between its charming leads, Donald Glover (John Smith) and Maya Erskine (Jane Smith).  

As two lonely, unemployed millennials, they  independently agree to become secret agents for a mysterious organization requiring them to go undercover as a married couple using the aliases  “John” and “Jane” Smith. All instructions for each intelligence mission are received from an anonymous source via text, a la “Mission Impossible”. 

The couple must operate missions together, trusting in each other while developing their neophyte espionage skills. Unintentionally,  a close relationship develops. And superimposed on top of the main plot where Mr. and Mrs. Smith have to accomplish multiple missions to appease a boss threatening to fire them at any moment, are cameo appearances with minor subplots featuring a pregnancy scare,  a double date with another couple (Parker Posey and Alexander Skarsgaard) resulting in lethal consequences, and a  doctor-patient couples-therapy session (with Sarah Paulson hilariously playing the psychiatrist)  that heighten their mistrust for each other. And, as in any rom-com, there is a flirtation  with an appealing next-door guy (Paul Dano) that may not be entirely innocent.  Other cameo roles are given to Michaela Coel and John Turturro.

The  spy missions  will hold any audience that likes this genre, but the couples relationship between the two main characters will be sufficient magnetism to entertain even viewers who are not big fans of espionage thrillers.  Maya Erskine and Donald Glover  remind this reviewer of the classic partnership of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in their batting banter towards each other at high-velocity speed. Matching verbal artillery with the semi-automatic bullets in the shooting scenes, of which there are many, is sometimes comical.   Mr. and Mrs. Smith entertains when we least expect it,  primarily because of the likability and incandescence of Maya Erskine and Donald Glover, who never seem to overplay their affection or their mistrust for each other.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith has a disarming sweetness that is fun to watch.  Imagine watching a purportedly married couple bicker and become ever more resentful and mistrusting in episode after episode?  And then you still keep rooting for them!

Availability:  Amazon Prime

Note:  The 2005  film, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”, streams on Hulu.

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