Trouble in Tahiti SynopsisONE AND ONLY ACT
As a jazz trio praises the joys of suburbia, Sam and Dinah, who have been married for 10 years, quarrel over breakfast, as they are unable to prevent themselves from doing every day. Dinah accuses Sam of being excessively interested in his secretary and he denies it angrily. She reminds him that they are due to attend a school play in which their son has the leading role, but he says he can't come, as he is due at the gym, where he hopes to win a gold cup in the handball tournament. She accuses him of being selfish.
As he leaves for the office he suggests they try to stop brawling and talk things over that night, but he becomes angry when she asks for money to pay her analyst, whom he accuses of being "an out-and-out fake." He goes to the office and she to the analyst. He is pleased with a firm business decision and an act of generosity and the trio sardonically hails him as a genius and an angel.
On the analyst's couch, Dinah describes a dream in which she was unable to get out of a garden gone to seed and full of weeds and unable to find a beautiful garden, a quiet place, promised by the voice of a singer. Checking with his secretary, Sam finds she remembers an occasion, which he has forgotten, on which he made a pass at her. Dinah remembers falling in love with Sam at the age of 17 and the feeling that love would lead to the quiet place.
Sam and Dinah meet in the street and each pretends to have a prior engagement. They wonder why they felt the need to lie to avoid spending an hour together, where the mystery and delight of their marriage have gone and why they can't find the garden, the quiet place. Dinah goes to a film, Trouble in Tahiti, but as she reflects on its stupidity, she finds herself caught up in a song from it, Island Magic, then snaps out of it, declaring once again that it was a terrible movie. Sam has won his cup, but reflects that he now has to pay for it with another domestic scene. The trio accompanies Sam and Dinah's attempt to discuss things which degenerates into trivia. Dinah admits that she too failed to attend the school play. As a way of escape from one another, Sam suggests they go to a movie.
Although they went to a film the night before and she has seen this one, Dinah accepts the suggestion, and they set off to see Trouble in Tahiti, seeking on the silver screen a substitute for the happiness they are still unable to find together.