Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rich Themes, Taut Dialogue Refreshing in 'One I Love'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rich Themes, Taut Dialogue Refreshing in 'One I Love'

Article excerpt

Let's face it - the title of this film is a bit of a turnoff: "The One I Love" sounds like it could be the millionth iteration of a Jennifer Aniston or Cameron Diaz rom-com that you'll be able to pick up at the $5 DVD bin at Walmart two months after it leaves the theaters.

Do yourself a favor and power through understandable suspicions raised by the title and settle in for one of the most high concept, deftly acted movies to come along since the last few Spike Jonze/ Charlie Kaufman collaborations.

Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss star as Ethan and Sophie, an estranged couple who can't stop criticizing each other yet still have enough residual affection for one another to give couples counseling one last shot.

Just as Ethan and Sophie are about to pull the trigger for a divorce, their glib therapist (Ted Danson) gives them a pamphlet for a dream getaway far from the daily grind of the city. The therapist assures Ethan and Sophie that a weekend retreat at that house has amazing restorative powers for a relationship. The couple need very little arm-twisting if it will save a marriage still recovering from an act of marital unfaithfulness.

Ethan and Sophie have the run of the main house and a smaller guest house in the back. They are pleased with what they encounter at first and begin to feel that the therapist's hype is warranted. They relax and are able to establish a natural rapport missing from their daily interactions back home. They begin to recall what made them fall in love with each other in the first place.

At one point during the first day of the retreat, the couple break out a bag of high quality weed to enhance the mood. This is where any further discussion about the movie's plot gets tricky. Enjoyment of the film is predicated upon the surprise and utter bafflement of what happens next.

What is safe to say is that an intriguing exploration of the dynamics of Ethan and Sophie's relationship follows. Mr. Duplass and Ms. …

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