I’m a huge fan of Sci-Fi as some of my all time favorite films are in this particular genre. So I was really excited when Kyle gave me ‘The One I Love”, a film starring and produced by Mark Duplass, one of the most prominent independent filmmakers and a huge model of Kyle’s. I unfortunately haven’t seen as many of his films as Kyle but Creep is one of the better horror films that has come out in the past few years and hopefully I’ll get even more of both Mark and Jay Duplass’ films because they truly are really good at what they do.
The One I Love tells the story of Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elizabeth Moss), whose marriage is slowly hanging on its last lifeline. They are attending a therapist (Ted Danson, currently away from his job as a bartender) who sets them up on a getaway that has been 100% effective in reinvigorating past couples marriages and when they arrive, they discover that something just isn’t right about this resort. From then on, it’s best to not know any plot details because there are a few fun surprises throughout. I literally knew nothing about this movie and that’s the best way to view it.
I liked this movie but didn’t love it as I really expected. On premise alone, it’s quite perfect. I think where the film falters is in some of it’s execution. I’m gonna start with the positives of course and the acting is really good. Mark Duplass is really fantastic in his portrayal of this man who sees how weird the situation that him and his wife are thrust into is and Elizabeth Moss is also just as good as a wife clearly harboring some deep emotions that have slowly been built into her due to the strains of her marriage with Ethan. They really are the only two actors in the movie besides Ted Danson being featured for about five minutes but it’s these two who carry the picture.
The first half is really strong and the amount of intrigue that I felt really kept me glued to the screen as each little piece of the puzzle slowly revealed itself. Speaking of this, I loved that the film didn’t deal it’s hand right away and instead kept answering your questions with more questions, throwing another curve into what you think is going on when in fact it’s most certainly not.
This is where I think the film kind of falls apart however. Now it’s not a total collapse as the second half is still interesting, it just doesn’t live up to the promise that the first half so cleverly gives us. I’m a huge fan of films that don’t necessarily answer questions given in the movie. Alien, one of my favorite movies, leaves a majority of the questions unanswered. But there’s this way that a film handles this method of storytelling where it almost gives you different branching speculations of what a particular event means. This film has a few things happen during the latter portion that kind of created a few plot holes and I had a hard time figuring out a viable logical reason for that said event to happen. Also, the ending is another issue I have. The ending itself has no problem as it wraps up the story logically and thematically. No, the issue I had was with just how long before you get the ending that I called the route it was going in. The film almost gives this away in the frame before the final scene and I just wish it handled this more carefully. I’ve done some digging into the ending and honestly seeing the one side of ambiguity makes it a stronger ending but the issue is that with most ambiguous endings, there’s evidence to both sides and I think if they went in the route that I think and it was the definitive answer to the ending’s question, it would of made for a much stronger ending.
The One I Love is by no means a bad film, it’s actually quite good but I wish that a film with such a cool and unique premise like this was great instead of just good. Still, I can’t not recommend this film to anyone who like me is a big Sci-Fi fan and likes films that cause you to think.
Kyles Next Film:
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
I actually just recently saw this animated masterpiece last month due to the live action adaptation being released and actually by seeing this first, I had no desire to see the live action in theaters. Kyle, like I, isn’t a huge fan of anime. He respects it but it’s not really his forte. Which is why I’m really excited to see his reaction to this. Enjoy your first in a two part swap that will go hand in hand with my next weeks choice.