Wednesday, August 27, 2014

REVIEW: The One I Love

The One I Love

Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss


August 22, 2014 (LIMITED)

Charlie McDowell


1 hour 31 minutes



If you've seen any other reviews for this movie, one of the first things they tell you is that this is one of those movies where it's hard to really talk about without giving away something ridiculously original, crucial, and unique to the movie.  Personally, I agree with everyone who has said this, as "The One I Love" is one of those rare movies that's best to know as little as possible about before going to see it.  Even though the trailer doesn't give much of the "surprise" away, it's still best to avoid it until seeing the film.  All you need to know about this movie is that a struggling married couple go away to a luxurious vacation spot in order to settle some of their differences and try to get their marriage back into shape.

What happens at this vacation spot isn't necessarily scary, but it's very jarring and extremely clever, so much so that the audiences at the numerous film festivals where this played had no idea how the studio who'd pick this up for distribution would sell it without giving away the big twist.  Luckily, Radius-TWC for the most part did a bang up job selling this quirky little indie to audiences.  This "twist" I'm hyping up might sound like a gimmick, but believe me when I say it isn't.  All I'm saying is that not knowing the twist adds to the surprise of this movie.  Regardless of knowing anything or not, "The One I Love" at its whole is a clever, funny, and surprisingly creepy take on one couple's mission to pick up the pieces of their crumbling marriage.

Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss share great chemistry together, plain and simple.  As the two sole actors in the movie, (aside from Ted Danson in a couple of scenes) these actors have the responsibility of carrying the entire show based solely on their performances.  Luckily, they do just that, and in return make us believe that they are a struggling married couple.  There are so many layers to their characters that I can't begin to discuss here, but once you see the movie, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.  In fact, I'm just gonna stop now before I potentially give anything else away.

Director Charlie McDowell and screenwriter Justin Lader have together made something of a modern romantic marvel with this movie.  Things might not be as fully explained as some of us would want it to be, but considering that this was their first foray into filmmaking territories, I must say that these two have done a bang up job and have really started their careers off with a bang.  This is a movie that, once the twist that I keep hyping up happens, the story spirals into unpredictable territories that leaves you mesmerized and guessing until the end.  Although, even the end of the movie will have you guessing as to what has happened.  I doubt the twist will have a positive effect on everyone, but for this critic here, it worked exceedingly well.  As a whole, "The One I Love" is a funny, romantic, and even pretty dark movie that takes the average idea of a dysfunctional married couple and turns it on its head.

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