For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Alternate Love Story Movies, here’s a review of The One I Love (2014) by SG Liput of Rhyme & Reason
Thanks again to Abbi of Abbiosbiston.com for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Tim of FilmFunkel We will be reviewing our favorite Found Footage movies. In order to get a better idea as to what this genre might include, check out this post by Tim.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of December by sending them to TisTheFFSeason@movierob.net Try to think out of the box! Great choice Tim!
Let’s see what SG thought of this movie:
The one I love and I fall short
Of perfect pairs with shared support.
We disagree repeatedly,
And yet my love will always be
The only one I love.
Though love can cool with time and strain,
We can agree ‘twas not in vain.
If better offers come their way,
I know they’ll conquer doubt to stay
And be the one I love.
MPAA rating: R (for language and non-explicit sex)
I’m surprised I’d never heard of The One I Love until I discovered it for this Genre Grandeur, but it’s a film that fits into the alternative romance genre by exploring a failing marriage and its attempted recovery with a science fiction twist. Honestly, what it most reminded me of was an episode of The Twilight Zone, where things start off fairly normally and quickly get weird.
Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elizabeth Moss) see a psychiatrist (Ted Danson) to work out their marital hang-ups. When he suggests they visit a quaint mountain getaway, the two agree in an effort to rekindle their cooling romance. There’s a spacious main house and a homey guest cottage, but the couple slowly realize that something odd happens when they enter the guest cottage one by one, something that might bring them closer or divide them further.
Though this mysterious twist is a major plot point, I’m not going to spoil it here. I’ve included far too many spoilers in my reviews, and I’m determined to change my ways. Suffice to say, the anomaly they encounter both intrigues and weirds them out, but they agree to explore it. While Ethan is continuously dubious, suspecting some practical reason for the oddity, Sophie grows more and more curious and accepting of it, and Ethan must weigh how best to reclaim the love of his wife.
The One I Love takes an independent, minimalist approach by casting only two key lesser-known stars (and Ted Danson) and letting them carry the film with realistically natural dialogue and understandable reactions to the enigma they encounter. The few special effects used are integrated well to uphold the seeming simplicity of the story while metaphysical questions surrounding the central mystery pile up. One source I read seemed to label it a romantic comedy, and it does have amusing lines that could fit in one, like “I know he is handsome and smart and eloquent, and he makes cool aardvark metaphors.” Yet it better fits the mold of a psychological mystery, just like a Twilight Zone episode, while retaining the importance of the romantic struggle at its heart.
The film does feature quite a bit of ambiguity, and those hoping for a full explanation will be disappointed. It suggests the possibility of potential answers, but it’s never clear. There seems to be a sci-fi conspiracy at work, and yet there are elements that seem too supernatural to be explainable. Is it a premeditated plot? Is it an unsolvable quirk of the universe? Who knows? It keeps you guessing right up to the end. Love is rarely straightforward but always worth it, much like The One I Love.
Best line: (Ethan) “I’m your husband, and you’re my wife, and I am not letting you go. We’re a mess, and I love that about us, and I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be us.”
Rank: List Runner-Up
© 2015 S. G. Liput
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