Monday, September 8, 2014

[Review] The One I Love

Elizabeth Moss and Mark Duplass are the central couple in this romance drama with a sci-fi twist.

The beginning misdirects you into thinking this is a mockumentary, as Sophie (Moss) and Ethan (Duplass) talk about their dwindling marriage through an interview-like setting. This is until the scene opens up and it's revealed that they're in a couples therapy session with Ted Danson. He recommends that they take a mini-vacation to a getaway house in order to rekindle their relationship.

But there's something surreal about this house. Sophie and Ethan discover that each time one of them steps into the doorway, the "better version" of their spouse is on the inside. The exact existential persona of the doppleganger is never quite clear, but my guess is that it's either the spouse the person fell in love with in the first place, or the version they wished their spouse was. Despite the setup and mood feeling like a Cinemax After Dark show at times, it's an intriguing concept and initially appears to be a great avenue of relationship exploration.

However, the film doesn't really follow through on its premise, and it seems at a loss for where it wants to go during the latter half. The couple spend more time trying to figure out how and why the phenomenon is occurring, rather than confronting how and why this affects their relationship and what it discloses about human nature & expectations (they should've listened to Dr. Danson!). It all becomes a squeeze for material, resulting in too much padding that isn't interesting or insightful enough to sustain its feature length. And the ending unfortunately fails to make up for any of it.

The One I Love is a story of letdowns and unfulfilled promises - in more ways than one.


No comments:

Post a Comment