Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cinemasochists Review: The One I Love

The One I Love (2014) 

As I just recently wrote in my review for Honeymoon, it can seem almost impossible to keep a marriage together. Some say that humans are not supposed to be monogamous, but I tend to disagree. As long as you find someone you can share every experience with and someone you can grow with once the freshness and excitement expire, then it's not impossible. Sure, it's a steep climb, but it's also necessary for you and your significant others evolution. 
The One I Love (directed by first timer Charlie McDowell) confronts this very idea head on. It's a meta, funny, strange and compelling film. Mark Duplass (Ethan) and Elizabeth Moss (Sophie) play a married couple in desperate need of a spark in their marriage. They attempt to recreate a past moment in which they discovered they love each other, but in doing so, they are unsuccessful and things become even more dire. As they explain this to their shrink, (played by Ted Danson) he offers up a solution to go to a specific hideaway destination for the weekend. He thinks it will reignite the fire, as it has for others in the past he explains. Desperate to try anything, they oblige. What happens next is hard to really explain without going into heavy spoilers


After a nice evening alone, Sophie and Ethan discover something strange in the back house of their little getaway home. Themselves. Literally. Doppelgängers inhabit the guest house and they aren't just look a-likes or in their head. They're real and they are in essence, more attractive, more understanding, idealized versions of themselves. Perhaps these are the people Ethan and Sophie used to be, which is why they continue going back to explore why these doppelgängers exist and what they have to offer. Because this reveal happens so early in the film, it really gives the idea time to gestate and grow. As it goes on, the couple turn it into a trust game and as things start to unravel and paranoia and jealousy kick in, their open sore gets worse and worse, even though the intention is that it should be getting better. 
This film is not as serious as it could be and that is to it's advantage. It's at times silly (as the music suggests) because ideas presented like, that you can be jealous of yourself, seem far reaching and ridiculous. The Twilight Zone premise stretches itself all the way to the end and as head scratching as it can and wants to be, it still grounds itself in reality because being in love, staying in love and the fear of losing that love is as scary and real as any doppelgänger. 

You can stream it on Netflix, or rent from any VOD outlet

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