->'''April Wheeler:''' You don't! Because you've never tried at anything. And if you don't try at anything you can't fail.
->'''Frank Wheeler:''' What the hell do you mean I don't try? I support you, don't I? I pay for this house. I work ten hours a day at a job I can't stand.
->'''April Wheeler:''' You don't have to.
->'''Frank Wheeler:''' Bullshit! I'm not happy about it. But I have the backbone not to run away from my responsibilities!
->'''April Wheeler:''' It takes backbone to lead the life you want, Frank.

Once upon a time, two clean-cut American kids named Frank and April met, fell in love, and got married. They settled down in a Connecticut suburb near New York on Revolutionary Road and all lived happily ever after, right?


Years later, Frank Wheeler is an office drone and April is a housewife who tends to their two kids. They hate every minute of it. Things change when April suggests moving to Paris and start their existence anew. Their neighbors wonder why the hell they aren't happy with their lives. But then, Frank decides to take a promotion at work and starts to woo his secretary. April gets pregnant again. Let's just say things go downhill from here.

This is the plot of the novel ''Revolutionary Road'', which was written by Richard Yates, set in 1955, and published in 1961. In 2008, Creator/SamMendes directed a film version which starred his then-wife, Creator/KateWinslet and Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio.
!!This work features examples of:

* {{Angst}}: And a whole lot of it.
* AwfulWeddedLife: And ''how''. The truly wrenching thing is that at times, they're both downright desperate to salvage things and bring their marriage back to the happiness it once was.
** The Givings also have a less-than-stellar marriage; the final scene of the film is Mrs. Givings lecturing about how the Wheelers let their house value depreciate, and Mr. Givings calmly reaches down to turn his hearing aid off.
* AutoErotica: Between Shep and April.
* BabiesMakeEverythingBetter: Inverted. Getting pregnant at this time makes Frank's and April's already strained marriage even worse, [[spoiler:and eventually pushes April over the DespairEventHorizon.]]
* DeathByChildbirth: [[spoiler:April, although it's more like "death-by-attempted-abortion"]]
* DespairEventHorizon: [[spoiler:April crosses it when she realizes she and Frank will never leave Revolutionary Road. Hollow and lifeless, she calmly walks into the bathroom and attempts an abortion, knowing that it could potentially kill her.]]
* DomesticAbuse: Frank and Shep have hit and screamed at their wives.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:April dies giving herself an abortion and Frank goes on to live unhappily ever after. Their unhappiness even affects their neighbors.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: Implied. [[spoiler:Earlier in the movie, April tells Frank that she heard from a friend that she can safely self-abort as long as it's within the first trimester. Eventually her first trimester passes. When Frank dashes her hopes of ever leaving this life they both hate, she tries to self-abort anyway, likely knowing what would happen.]]
** [[spoiler: Not only that, she clearly deliberately stands there as she's bleeding out and takes forever to call for help.]]
* ExiledToTheCouch: April puts herself there, and Frank is less and less affected.
* TheFifties
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Frank partially relies on this so April won't abort his child.
* HaHaHaNo: In their worst altercation of the film adaptation, April feigns prolonged hysterical laughter at something Frank says before on a dime switching to anger to answer him.
* HeelRealization: Shep seems to have this after April's death, appearing to recommit to his own marriage.
* HereWeGoAgain: [[spoiler:After all the angst in this film, this is implied as some new neighbors move in to the Wheelers' house.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Frank after April's death. And given the expression on his face at the end, it hasn't subsided.
* HopeSpot: The decision to move to Paris invigorates Frank and April and looks like a real solution to their marriage troubles... until she gets pregnant.
* HouseHusband: Shep and his wife privately decry the Wheelers' plan for Frank to be this when the couple moves to Europe.
* IceQueen: Frank often accuses April of being cold and unfeeling, then becomes frustrated or confused when she is (seemingly) unfazed by the insult.
* IsThatAThreat: Often April's response to Frank during fights, much to his frustration.
* LongingLook: Shep taking this at Frank and April's house clues the audience in to his feelings for April.
* MadMathematician: John Givings, except he's also the OnlySaneMan in a warped way. He's the only character who [[BrutalHonesty always says exactly what he feels]] and calls everyone else out on their hypocrisy. While he has a history of violence, the supposedly "sane" Frank and Shep have both hit / threatened their wives.
* MasochismTango: Frank and April; implied to be the case of most of their married neighbors. The main conflict stems from her being willing to do what it takes to move their relationship out of tango, with Frank subconsciously not wanting to move on for whatever reason.
* MilkingTheGiantCow: Literary example - at one point, Frank puts down a glass so he can "make a gesture of impassioned earnestness." Of course, almost everything he and April do is some kind of performance.
* MoralMyopia: Frank Wheeler. He rudely dismisses the criticisms of Norma, who calls him out on being a MasterOfTheMixedMessage to Maureen while also trying to be empathetic. He also confesses his affair just to get guilt off him and provoke a reaction from April and is puzzled why April really isn't bothered.
* OnlySaneMan: In a strange sort of way, John. He's very aware about Frank and April's personal failings, isn't afraid to speak his mind and regularly calls out the other characters for their hypocrisy.
* OscarBait: The entire movie; two well-known leads starring in a somewhat predictable period drama about an AwfulWeddedLife involving a trapped, stifled wife and a selfish, desperate husband. It ultimately only managed to get a few nominations, with two of them being design nominations, and both leads were ignored in favor of a nomination for Michael Shannon despite [[OneSceneWonder only being in a couple of scenes]].
* PunchAWall: Frank almost hits April during an argument, but he restrains himself and hits the car instead.
* SmokingIsGlamorous: Gradually deconstructed over the course of the movie.
* {{Springtime For Hitler}}: The sarcastic ad campaign Frank throws together that he believes will get him fired, ends up getting him a promotion instead.
* StepfordSmiler: Mrs. Givings and Milly, and their husbands to a lesser extent.
** April, the morning after her and Frank's epic fight. She cheerfully greets him, prepares his breakfast, chats with him about work, etc. With nary a mention of the argument they had, nor of the fact that she's planning to kill herself.
** Frank himself after April's death. He smiles while watching his children play, but is clearly struggling not to cry.
* StepfordSuburbia: The reason Frank and April aren't happy in their ideal suburban home.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Happens all over the place. Frank to April, April to Frank, John to both of them...
* TimeSkip: The movie starts with Frank and April meeting at a college dance. The next scene is approximately ten years later. There's a lesser one at the end after April's death.
* WallBangHer: Frank and April's sex scene in the kitchen, even though it's more against the countertop and cabinets rather than a wall.
* YourCheatingHeart: Frank has an affair with a secretary (who's in a relationship of her own) and April has a brief fling with Shep. Later, Frank explicitly invokes his affair just to get a reaction out of April. It doesn't work. She knows he's confessing it not out of nobility, but control.