Omar: 4.1 out of 5 stars

MILD SPOILER WARNING 

Hello again ladies and gentlepeeps! Welcome to yet another film review, the second entry in our series. Today we’re coming back to you with yet another Mark Duplass film, we’ve been on a Duplass TEAR recently. Chris McDowell’s THE ONE I LOVE is a movie I’d seen countless times while scrolling through netflix but the description was too vague and the picture too creepy for me to ever feel encouraged to click on it. I knew the movie had great reviews and I did intend to watch it eventually. My better half wasn’t as patient and watched it without me. After watching the movie she insisted that I watch asap and I can understand why, the movie does not disappoint!

This movie starts out with Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass at couple’s therapy as their marriage has clearly fallen into a rut. Sophie (Moss) doesn’t trust Ethan (Duplass) for reasons that are revealed later in the film but their issues extend beyond that as Sophie no longer feels a spark with Ethan and Ethan thinks Sophie has become too uptight and unforgiving. Their therapist sends them to a vacation house that he claims works miracles and will rejuvenate their relationship. Once at the house, strange things start to happen. Not strange in the frightening sense but in more of a Being John Malkovich/Eternal Sunshine sense.

This film did a great job of keeping my attention throughout. It started out a bit conventional but I knew there was more than met the eye and once the film really started rolling I was hooked until the end. I think this is a good time to mention that the music was superb. This point extends beyond the music though as the general sounds of this movie did a very good job of pacing the movie and creating tension at the right times.

Another thing I really liked about the movie was the warm color palette, it was very soothing to the eyes. It also served to create a fun dynamic with the content of the film. While the colors were warm and inviting (much like the vacation house itself), it clashed with the surreal nature of the plot.

The strongest aspect of this movie was the plot and chemistry between the two leads. Moss and Duplass did a fantastic job of depicting a couple who clearly loved each other but was struggling. Their arguments were believable and so was their affection and desire to return to a better place in their marriage. The story itself I found to be highly original. I can’t think of another movie which is even close to similar which is usually a good thing (in this case it is). Earlier I mentioned Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich, both works of the amazing Charlie Kaufman. This movie struck me as a way underdeveloped and more conventional idea that Kaufman himself might have and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What I mean by that is that this movie took place in a very real and believable world where seemingly supernatural and metaphysical happenings occur and the characters just go with it. This does, however, transition me into some of the flaws I found in the film.

While the story was great, I would have appreciated more explanation as how the…ahem…*other*…characters worked. What were the rules governing their existence? How did they get there in the first place? How did they mold their appearance? and so on and so forth. I won’t go into too much detail concerning these flaws because then I’d be giving away the movie but trust me, these are legitimate concerns.

From what i’ve read, most people take the end of this movie to be more clear-cut and obvious than I choose to believe it is. While the film certainly leads you in one direction, you can very easily make a case that it ended in the opposite direction. I’m probably in the minority here but I choose to believe it went in this opposite direction not only because of some of the unexplained logistical issues that I mentioned above but also because it just makes me feel better and enjoy the movie more to interpret it in this manner. In the end the fact that I can even make an argument that the movie is open ended and went in a different direction is one of the things that I enjoy about it. Overall it was highly enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone looking for something a little strange, a little romantic, a little funny, and in the end original.

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