in the entertainment industry can relate to the frustration of undergoing therapy,
only to find the underlying issue getting steadily worse—and therefore perhaps
identify with Charlie McDowell’s feature directorial debut (a hit at Sundance,
Tribeca, and Fantasia). In this case, his protagonist’s marriage continues to
disintegrate, despite their couples counseling. As a last resort, they will
spend a romantic weekend in a specially recommended resort home, but their
getaway takes a strange turn in McDowell’s The
One I Love (trailer
opens this Friday in New York.
was already losing Sophie before his unspecified infidelity, but it has become
a handy cudgel for her to wield. Nonetheless, she agreed to the counseling
sessions that have thus far proved fruitless. Taking a different tack, their
therapist refers them to an idyllic hideaway, where they can hopefully rekindle
and reconnect. However, there is a genre film surprise in store for them there.
it comes relatively early, there is a general understanding the nature of TOIL’s big twist should not be spoiled. It
is safe to say that guest house will rock their world. In terms of tone,
McDowell’s film is sort of like to the more comedic installments of The Twilight Zone—think of Keenan Wynn
in “A World of His Own,” except darker.
accepting the unofficial ground rules, reviews of TOIL must be torturously vague at times. Frankly, Mark Duplass and
Elisabeth Moss give remarkably good performances, but it would be spoilery to
explain why. Still, it is safe to say we can easily buy into them as a couple
with some problematic history. Ted Danson (McDowell’s stepfather) also makes
the most of his brief appearance as their mysterious therapist. In fact, TOIL was a real family affair, with McDowell’s
mother, Mary Steenburgen contributing her voice as Ethan’s mother (heard via
cell phone) and his famous significant other pseudonymously doing the
to the way the leads sell its double-secret premise, TOIL works quite well as fantastical dramedy. The jokes (improvised
and scripted) are quite clever and editor Jennifer Lilly cuts it all together
impressively seamlessly (again, you have to see it, to understand what a feat
You know when bacon plays a pivotal role in a movie
there must be something good on tap. TOIL
is indeed that film. Nicely executed by cast and crew, The One I Love is recommended for those looking for an anti-rom-com
when it opens this Friday (8/22) in New York at the Angelika Film Center.
Labels: Big Secret Movies, Mark Duplass