Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Angie Han
At first glance, Sundance drama The One I Love seems ordinary in every way. Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass play a pretty typical couple whose marriage is suffering from pretty typical problems, like boredom and resentment. Then their couples counselor prescribes a romantic getaway, and things take a turn for the bizarre.
To say more would be venturing into spoiler territory, but you can at least get a sense of the off-kilter tone with the first The One I Love trailer. Watch it after the jump.
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Maybe this is the Twilight Zone, where mundane beginnings lead to extraordinary situations. In The One I Love, a married couple played by Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass are having problems. Nothing outlandish, just garden-variety issues such as resentment, boredom, and an erosion of respect. So: off to couples therapy. Their analyst advocates a retreat which, he promises, has worked wonders for many others.
What happens next is… well, something people associated with the film have tried to keep quiet. Frankly, that’s a bit absurd, as the material in question is the premise of the film, not a spoiler. Trailers will eventually give some of it up. But I’ll play along, because doing so is a fun exercise.
To be circumspect: This isn’t a romantic comedy, nor a weepy drama. Unusual, clever, and bitterly funny, The One I Love seeks to expose the impulses that can stall a relationship, or foster growth. While the idea’s deepest potential is not exploited, Duplass and Moss — very nearly the only actors in the movie — perform with nicely-pitched intensity and utter command of their craft. If this had premiered earlier in the Sundance schedule it might have become the must-see film of the fest; the late debut doesn’t change the fact that it is among this year’s early standouts. Read More »