The One I Love is a surreal drama rom-com starring Mark Duplass and Elizabeth Moss as Ethan and Sophie; a couple trying to resurrect their failing marriage.
On the advice of their therapist (Ted Danson), Sophie and Ethan head off to a romantic country get away for a weekend that, according to said therapist, will do them wonders. The place just has something about it that makes couples leave more in love than ever before…
Sceptical, as the modern realist couple is, but willing to give it a go, Sophie and Ethan arrive at the luxurious house and spend a miraculous evening together. But things are always too good to be true and the charming enigma of the guesthouse begins to unfold around them when they realise that the significant other they have been spending time with, is not in fact the person that they arrived with. There exists in the guesthouse an alternate Sophie and Ethan; a fitter, more humorous and more caring version of the couple that play to each other’s desires.
Sounding a little convoluted? It definitely is; the concept is clever and leaves the viewer constantly engaged. Sometimes, a lot of the time, you are left wanting explanations for the surreal and mysterious goings on. The film itself critiques this human condition, with alternate Sophie and Ethan suggesting that things just happen, and not every occurrence can, or should be fully explained.
Moss and Duplass do a fantastic job holding the screen for the majority of the film. Sophie and Ethan’s alternate selves are very well created and carry over well on the screen. At times the production could have done with toning it back a bit: the abstract score sometimes feels a little too train like and the use of hand-held verses static shots make the distinction between the actual and alternate couples far too obvious.
The film is entertaining and whilst, like any sci-fi film it has its plot holes and sometimes you know all too clearly where it’s going, it’s worth being taken along for the ride. Even if that simply means you stop asking questions and just accept that some things, like this alternate reality in The One I Love, simply cannot be explained!
The One I Love is screening now exclusively at Nova!