Brilliant. So this is about a couple (Mark Duplass, Elizabeth Moss) who are having marriage difficulties. They are in counseling, and what gets recommended for them to do is to take a vacation together, just the two of them, at their counselor’s getaway home, which happens to have a very high success rate of saving relationships. That is all I want to tell you about this, and you’re just going to have to trust me on this, because this has a ton going on just underneath the surface. I watched this completely cold; Netflix told me that I would love it, and that it starred two actors I enjoy watching on TV. I love both The League and Mad Men, so at least I knew that I would enjoy spending time with these people. I am not exaggerating when I say that this blew me away, and this really is one of the best films of the year that you should go out of your way to know as little as possible about before you watch.
You should probably just stop reading right here, fire up your Netflix, and come back in 90 minutes. Don’t even watch a trailer.
This movie is very difficult for me to review, because I honestly and truly don’t want to spoil a single moment from you, and I am so paranoid that by simply writing this review, I am running the risk of giving away a single hint of where this story is going. Even making a comparison to another film would give away too much; with The One I Love, mum’s the word, and you should just accept the mystery and trust me. You might be hesitant; when you start to watch this, you’re really not going to have any foreseeable means of figuring out where exactly it is going. You might say “oh, look at the title, it’s just another sappy romance”. NO. There’s so much going on here, and this movie is chock full of surprises that I refuse to tell you about in this review.
Duplass is one of those rare actors that can succeed wildly at both drama and comedy, not unlike Jon Hamm, coincidentally enough.
This was the very last movie I watched before I released my year end list, and I am so thankful that I took the time, even though it meant me rearranging all of my favorite movies around. There is a point early on, it really doesn’t take long, where I got fully hooked, and I am certain you will too. It says a lot about how some people approach relationships in one of the most unconventional and exploratory ways possible. Again without touching upon specifics, I love how it doesn’t offer all that much of a detailed explanation… of it all. ACK, I refuse to spoil it, I won’t do it, but let me just say that it gets to be a whirlwind, continually picking up more and more as this story unwinds and shows where it is going. This is an unexpected creative film that has great ideas behind it. I haven’t heard of Charlie McDowell before now, but this has put him well on my radar. Out of all the films I watched in 2014, this is the one I’ve been itching to rewatch the most. You should watch this movie, you will thank me later.
The One I Love (2014) ****1/2
– Critic for Hire
Want to see where this fell in my list of best films of the 2014? See for yourself here.