Note: This review reveals an early plot twist that may anger a few readers, so read on with caution. You have been warned. N
It’s hard to reimagine a film about marriage therapy. There are countless movies about struggling relationships, ranging from downright heartbreaking to almost, kind of funny, but Charlie McDowell’s first feature length film The One I Love brought a surprising twist to an overdone plot.
The film opens with a simple scene, as a couple sit in a marriage counseling, talking about the changes relationships go through. Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elisabeth Moss) discuss about the first time they met, the instant connection they both felt, and the radical decision to break into someone’s pool for a night swim. They then move on to talk about breaking into the same pool years later to spark the excitement that has washed away as the relationship developed. It’s through this scene that we see the duo still love each other, but haven’t adapted to the changing feelings that come with every relationship.
Upon their therapist’s request, Ethan and Sophie decide to take a weekend getaway to a secluded retreat in Northern California, to try and ignite the excitement in their relationship. This is where the movie turns from a cliché romance to something out of The Twilight Zone. The property, which has a main house and a guesthouse, has a supernatural effect that introduces the characters to doppelgängers of their partners. But these doppelgängers, which are exact replicas physically, are more charming, more put together, and better listeners.
This freaks out the couple, but also intrigues them to stay at the house for the remainder of the weekend, and explore the supernatural phenomenon.
The One I Love is a phenomenal look at relationships, and how they grow or grow apart. It dives into the expectations, realities and jealousy. It’s the added twist that makes this film worth watching. Without it, the audience may have lost interest within the first 20 minutes. It’s not a typical love story, and we love that.
It’s not just characters or the phenomenal performances by Moss and Duplass that keeps the audience intrigued, but the mystery behind the doppelgängers and where they stemmed from. The pairing of Justin Lader’s writing and McDowell’s eye for filmography mean that this is one movie Netflix users shouldn’t pass up. Trust us.
The One I Love is available on Netflix now.