At long last, the cinematic souvenir from Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas’s brief-but-heavily-photographed relationship has arrived. On Friday, Hulu dropped Deep Water, the “erotic thriller” based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1957 novel of the same name. The movie’s stars have done little to no promotion for film, perhaps due to their breakup, which paparazzi documented as heavily as their relationship. Additionally, Disney pulled Deep Water’s theatrical release, something that could also be read as shorthand for “this movie is … not good.”
Fortunately, I am not mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or physically capable of consuming “good” media anymore. I want to inhale garbage, gag a little, and then make you sniff it. “Smell this, it stinks so bad.” I am Deep Water’s target audience.
Below, every thought I had while watching Deep Water. I’d warn you of spoilers, but how do you spoil what is already rotten?
Let’s start with the basics: Ana de Armas plays a woman named Melinda, which is the first unbelievable plot point in this film. In no universe does this woman look like a Melinda. My apologies to Melindas.
Melinda is married to Vic, played by Ben Affleck. Vic’s hobbies include riding his bike in a moody way and collecting snails in a horny way. Likewise, Ben Affleck’s hobbies include collecting Dunkin’ in a moody way and loving the giant phoenix tattoo he has on his back.
The premise of this movie, based on my cursory Googling, is as follows: Hot young wife is permitted by older husband to have boyfriends — modern! But those boyfriends begin disappearing, and the husband is the prime suspect — spooky!
The first of Melinda’s boyfriends we meet is Joel. He has shoulder-length blond hair and, at one point, apologizes Vic for “remasculating” him. This is all you need to know about Joel aside from the fact that he is played Brendan Miller, whom you may know from such classic films as Accepted or In Time, that movie where Olivia Wilde plays Justin Timberlake’s mom.
We are ten minutes into this movie and Ana de Armas is already drunk at a party, making everyone listen to her play piano and sing. She is not a good singer. However, she’s bad in a way that is somehow not embarrassing? (Note: This will be the best acting I witness in the entire film.)
Vic and Melinda have a small daughter named Trixie. Who allowed these character names? Trixie loves science, comedy, and the Leo Sayer. I love Trixie.
Uh-oh, do you feel that? It’s the urge to Google how old Ana de Armas and Ben Affleck are. Try to resist! Oops, too late. She is currently 33. He’s 49. Ha-ha.
So many fun cameos! Lil Rel Howery is here! So is Cher from the Clueless TV show (Rachel Blanchard). As is the dad from Lady Bird (Tracy Letts)! I’m having fun!
What is this bizarro town? Who are these bizarro people? Wikipedia says “the small town of Little Wesley, Louisiana,” but I say … their neighborhood parties read like a gathering of swingers where no one is actually fucking.
Okay, now Vic is trying to make Melinda jealous by dancing by with another woman. Except all he’s doing is spinning her around very quickly? I believe this is how Ben Affleck actually dances.
New favorite scene alert! On the way home from the party, Melinda attempts to give Vic … road head. Ew, sorry — that is not my favorite part. My favorite part is when she makes an annoyed face and pulls one of Vic’s pubic hairs out of her mouth.
Vic has a whole greenhouse just for his snails. It looks stinky, cold, and humid in there. He’s definitely horny for these snails, which he is keeping as … pets? Later, he is vehement about the fact that he doesn’t eat them and explains that you need to “starve” snails before you consume them, otherwise their innards will poison you. Hmm, are we sure this movie isn’t a comedy?
Hell yeah, time for Euphoria’s Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi) to play a little jazz piano. Why will no one let this tall (?) man act with his Australian accent? Na-ur, Ben, not in the deep wa-tah! As is suggested by the presence of Elordi, Sam Levinson co-wrote this screenplay.
Great news, drone warfare and military spending are mentioned multiple times during this movie. Vic got very rich because, in Melinda’s words, he made “a chip for drones that helps them find the people to blow up.” Remember how earlier she pulled a pube from her mouth?
Aw, Vic got a dog for Trixie. This child actor is going to grow up and be very confused that this movie isn’t a rom-com.
Time for another neighborhood party. Jacob Elordi has shown up and Ana de Armas is making him play piano for everyone. She’s loudly woo-ing and screaming “DANCE” while he plays. Just kidding, this is definitely a horror movie.
Fun fact: There’s a scene where Ben Affleck is sitting in the pool at night and it definitely looks like he’s wearing a wet shirt. He’s not, though? His back just looks like fabric? Stars—they’re just like us. Sadly, there is nary a giant phoenix back tattoo in sight.
I blacked out and somehow have already watched an hour of this movie. To recap: Jacob Elordi drowned; police found the body of Martin McRae, another one of Melinda’s boyfriends; and Melinda and Papa Lady Bird hired a private investigator to look into Vic. Don’t worry! There’s another full hour of this movie left.
Enter Tony! Finn Wittrock from American Horror Story! He’s an old friend of Melinda’s and the first American she fucked. We know this because she says, “Tony was the first American I fucked.” Tony’s job has something to do with sustainability in Brazil. He explains this while drinking wine and gesticulating in a very douche-y way, which leads me to believe he is going to die. I will not miss this character at all.
Not to sound too academic, but it seems as though water is a recurring theme of this movie. A character of its own, some might say?? There are multiple scenes in which Ben Affleck is washing dishes, something that requires water. While taking a bath, the daughter reveals that she believes her dad killed Charlie — which is apparently the name of Jacob Elordi’s character? Who knew? — but thinks it’s kinda fun and cute? Later, Melinda is taking a bath, shaving, and, it seems, just kind of letting the hair float around her? Maybe she’s actually the killer.
Hard to tell whether this is the kind of movie where Ben Affleck is actually the killer or we’re just supposed to think that he is.
Well, he just hit American Horror Story Tony with a rock, causing him to plummet to his death. So I guess it is that kind of movie. Now he’s trying to hid Tony’s corpse in, can you believe it, the water!
Ahh, time for that gorgeous picnic scene from the trailer. Turns out Vic is giving Melinda a bit of a handjob and not, as I assumed, the other way around. A twist!
Then, Vic gives Melinda a … zine? It’s a collection of photos he’s taken of her, assembled in a magazine he’s titled “Xenophon,” which is also the name of an ancient Greek philosopher and military leader. Oh, yeah. Vic is supposed to be an intellectual. You can tell because he has snails and thinks zines are a sexy gift.
Well, Melinda figured out Vic killed Tony and she … doesn’t really care. The final scene mirrors the opening scene. I think this is supposed to mean something, but I can’t stop thinking about that zine.
Don’t forget to stick around during the credits for the extended scene of Trixie singing “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.” No blooper reel, though :(
And this concludes Deep Water. What have we learned? If you eat snails without emptying their intestines, they’ll poison you? If you date Ben Affleck, you will eventually co-star in your own Gigli of sorts? Zines are a bad and embarrassing gift? Ha-ha, just kidding. I have learned nothing and will be watching this movie again with anyone who will indulge me.
Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly referenced the Bee Gees instead of Leo Sayer.