Thursday, August 28, 2014

A look at a marriage -- with a twist

A therapist (Ted Danson) suggests that Sophie and Ethan, a troubled California couple played by Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss spend a relaxing weekend at an isolated rural retreat in The One I Love, a mind-stretching look at a marriage. The therapist believes a short time away from routine will help get the couple's relationship back on track. Figuring they don't have much to lose, Sophie and Ethan embark on a weekend that's destined to change their lives. Working from a script by Justin Lader, McDowell takes the movie in an unexpected direction, pushing the story into territory that's best discovered in a theater, not in a review. With help from Duplass and Moss, McDowell mostly sustains a guessing game in which marital issues are explored along with questions of identity. The movie revolves around an intriguing enough gimmick, but McDowell can't quite make the story gel. Still, Moss -- staking out new territory after her long run on Mad Men -- brings a sense of playful independence to her work, and McDowell earns credit for almost getting a novel movie across the finish line.

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