Swens N’ Dobs// The One I love

This week we watched The One I Love, a psychological romance movie available on Netflix by director Charlie McDowell (who I found out from Google is maybe dating Rooney Mara). This movie stars Mark Duplass (The League) and Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men and Top of the Lake) as a couple going through a rough patch in their marriage. Their marriage counselor (Ted Danson) suggests they go on a weekend getaway and we have no idea how to explain what ensues.

Dobscha: The One I Love is a freaky, philosophical meditation on love and marriage. The film opens with Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elisabeth Moss) in couple’s therapy, reflecting on their recent, failed attempt to recreate the romance of the night they met. The lovers jump into a stranger’s pool at night, but their silence is uncomfortable, their heads just barely peeking above the water—a perfect metaphor for their last effort to keep their marriage afloat. Their therapist suggests a retreat to an idyllic vacation home, and the couple decides to give it a try. Surrounded by beautiful orchards and hills, Ethan and Sophie attempt to rekindle their marriage, only to discover something very bizarre in the guesthouse. I really can’t talk about the plot without revealing too much, but I will say that the film relies heavily on the talents of Moss and Duplass. Moss, famous for playing Peggy in Mad Men, always shocks me with the energy she brings to her subtle, mild-mannered characters. Duplass’ Ethan is equally real — a sad-faced, floundering husband. The film is thought-provoking and constantly engaging, despite mostly taking place in one building. The film falls apart towards the end, attempting to sketchily explain what would have been more interesting left unanswered. Warning: the movie is marketed as a romantic comedy, but don’t expect to feel the warm fuzzies. The One I Love has funny moments, but it’s also gloomy and a little frightening. I recommend watching it soon on Netflix instant.

Swenson: Oh, boy is this a confusing movie. Duplass and Moss star as a married couple on the rocks who decide to spend a weekend away to see if they can rediscover their marriage’s spark. They ultimately stumble upon a guesthouse, which hides many weird secrets. For me there were two main things that stood out about this movie. First, I very much enjoyed the performances by Duplass and Moss. After watching Top of the Lake, which is a great mini-series on Netflix as well, it is hard for me to find anything wrong with Moss and her acting ability. I am also a huge fan of The League and think that Duplass is awesome as well. So basically, I love both of them. Second, the setting of this movie, which I believe is supposed to be a few hours outside Los Angeles, is beautiful. There are several shots that perfectly capture the ambiance of this romantic retreat, which plays a pivotal role throughout the film. The story, though, could use a bit of help. While it is definitely a fascinating concept, there are times when I was truly puzzled as to what could possibly be going on. In the end, McDowell leaves us with what he most likely wants to be a huge question, but is ultimately a letdown. However, I definitely recommend you give this film a chance.

More like The One I Love: Moon, Jeff Who Lives at Home