The One I Love (2014)
Starring Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, and Ted Danson
Directed by Charlie McDowell
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
Difficult to discuss without spoiling things, The One I Love is a unique spin on the relationship drama -- I've certainly never seen anything like it before. About twenty minutes into the film, something weird happens and the flick takes us down a path that hasn't been trodden (to the best of my knowledge). While I did find myself twiddling my thumbs a bit during the middle act, The One I Love does a really nice job of creating a believable relationship between Ethan and Sophie at all points in the film. As they fight at the beginning, I believed their contentiousness, but also believed they wanted to work it out. As they begin to reconcile, I bought into their rediscovered joy. As weird stuff begins to happen at the retreat, I understood their reactions to it and how it affected their connection with one another. Kudos to first-time screenwriter Justin Lader for crafting characters that I could buy into and giving them relatable dialog despite the somewhat unrelatable situation going on around them.
The fim is essentially a two character piece and Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss bring Lader's words to life in a way that feels genuine. I was drawn in right away by Duplass and Moss who have much more to do here than I can actually discuss. The film gives them an opportunity to push their characters' boundaries a bit and both actors succeed.
Admittedly, there are times one when ponders whether The One I Love may have fared better as a short film. While that wouldn't have allowed us to see the progression of Ethan and Sophie's relationship, the twisted premise does wear a little thin at moments. Still, debut director Charlie McDowell does a nice job getting great performances from his (essentially) two member cast in this wholly unique take on a troubled relationship.
The RyMickey Rating: B