I wonder if Kate Winslet and her director husband Sam Mendes – who work together in the domestic drama Revolutionary Road – have ever lived in the suburbs. Separately – she in Little Children; he with American Beauty – they have made their own contributions to the familiar Hollywood genre of suburban satire. With Revolutionary Road, they team up for an especially limp and elitist condemnation of driveways and picket fences. Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio play April and Frank Wheeler, a young married couple who has moved from the city to the suburbs in 1950s Connecticut to raise their two children. On the way home from a dreadful community theater production starring April, a once aspiring actress, the pair tear into each other. Both blame the other for how their lives have turned out – Frank holds down a dull office job to make the house payments – yet it’s their location that Mendes ultimately holds responsible. I suppose you could read Revolutionary Road as a tragedy about disappointment in general – how youthful dreams often recede with age, and how spouses can unfairly bear the blame for that – yet Mendes is too specific to let the movie open up in such a thematic way. “It’s bad enough we have to live among these people!” Frank rages during one argument. Later, when the Wheelers entertain the notion of moving to Paris – a one-time dream of Frank’s – Mendes presents it as the solution to all their problems without a trace of irony. In other words, the entire picture reeks of the condescension of outsiders – people who have never lived, yet still judge, the suburban experience. Mendes never suggests what it is exactly – aside from a nosy neighbor (Kathy Bates) and other such facile clichés – that is so soul-crushing about the suburbs. (Full disclosure: I moved from Chicago to the suburbs and happen to enjoy the extra trees.) As for the stars, participating in a much-touted reunion after 1997’s Titanic, both offer what will likely stand among their career-worst performances. It’s not only that these are largely hateful characters who spend much of the picture yelling at each other (for most of its running time, you feel like a judge on “Divorce Court” trying to decide who deserves more blame). It’s that the yelling itself never hits any notes of emotional authenticity.