The One I Love Review
What if you could talk to yourself?
I don't mean an internal discussion, because we as human beings have those all the time (varying person to person, of course.). But what if you, literally, had a discussion with yourself? A copy of you? But not just a copy of yourself, a more courageous, more humorous, more ambitious version of you. I know its strange to think of perfection, because it simply doesn't exist, but what would it be like if the most perfect versions of ourselves were starring us down?
"The One I Love" is something that drew me in instantly. Simply because its absolutely nothing like anything I have seen in awhile. This is a movie that zigs each time you think it is going to zag. As the film opens we see that the marriage between Sophie (Elisabeth Moss) and Ethan (Mark Duplass) is crumbling. We don't know how long they have been married or how long things have be on the outs for them, but they seeing a therapist (Ted Danson) at the beginning of the film. The therapist suggests a weekend retreat, to see if Ethan and Sophie can rekindle their romance. The therapist assures them that this getaway has helped every couple he has ever worked with, and believes that the same can be done with Ethan and Sophie.
What I did not expect, was once they get to the cabin their therapist suggests to them, weird events begin to take place. Not in a slasher-horror kind of way (even though, if I were apart of this I would definitely be creeped out.) But the movie definitely takes a strange left turn. This is not at all the movie I expected it to be, and once the film's premise reveals itself, I thought that it would remain a goofy comedy. But no, the film's ending lands like a sledgehammer. And once "Dedicated To The One I Love" began playing during the credits, I didn't know whether to laugh or to be horrified. "The One I Love" is an eerie science fiction story, and it resonated with me on levels I didn't see coming.
What makes "The One I Love" so good is just how well Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass engage the audience. They sell their broken marriage effortlessly, and when the weird events begin to unravel, they remain not as film characters, but as people. Despite the films ambitious premise, I was surprised how well Moss and Duplass did not slip into cliché, and they played believable people all the way through. As the film wears on, its clear just how good both Moss and Duplass are, and they completely sell the movie. Besides Danson's brief appearance onscreen, its Moss and Duplass the whole rest of the movie, and it is quite bracing.
I don't want to get into the film's big reveals and I don't want to dig deeper in the premise. I think I did a good job of keeping the films big secrets under wraps. Do yourself a favor, watch this movie without reading up on synopsis' you find online or anywhere else. You'll be glad you did. "The One I Love" is a different kind of science fiction film, a different kind of romantic comedy and pretty much a different kind of anything. I always like a movie that aims high on ambition, but when that ambition pays off, the movie becomes something else entirely.
FINAL GRADE: A