The One I Love

The One I Love
Directed by Charlie McDowell
Starring Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss and Ted Danson
In US Cinemas August 22nd, 2014

The One I Love is a surreal comedy thriller about a couple seeking therapy for their marital troubles.  Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elisabeth Moss) are trying to reignite their love for each other with the help of their therapist played by the ever-brilliant Ted Danson.  They go on a doctor-prescribed weekend retreat where some of the magic starts to return, but then something very strange occurs.

Citing Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as influences, Charlie McDowell has made an incredible directorial debut with The One I Love.  It’s confident, bold, quirky, interesting, and showcases outstanding performances by Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss.  I almost can’t believe they’re not a couple in real life.

Much of the joy of watching this story unravel comes from not knowing the central plot before it unfolds.  McDowell will have quite a task on his hands figuring out an intriguing marketing campaign without revealing too much detail of the plot.  The key theme of this film is couplehood and how we are 20% better versions of ourselves when we first meet that special someone.  Over time, we no longer are trying to impress and some of that initial magic depletes.  TOIL also explores how when in relationships, we often try to relive the past rather than create our futures.

The One I Love finds the perfect balance between comedy, drama and surrealism.  Duplass and Moss are equally skilled in both the comedic and dramatic, and display their talents as the key central cast in this film.  As a first time filmmaker, Charlie McDowell tips his hat to Spike Jonze, and places himself on the map as a director with talent and something unique to say for himself.

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