Second week of romantic films or, rather, almost entirely unromantic films! Actual romance theme starting next week, probably. Possibly.
See what Christa thought of this one soon. Hell has frozen over and I’ve posted my review first (???).
The One I Love
Where to Watch:
Sophie and Ethan, a young married couple, encounter a very strange phenomenon while on a retreat to save their marriage.
The Uncondensed Version:
Sophie and Ethan do NOT have a good relationship, as their couples counseling session (with Ted Danson?!) reveals.
Though Ethan tries to recapture the magic of when they first met, Sophie is clearly not feeling it and can’t allow their relationship to start anew.
As a last resort, Ted Danson recommends a retreat where he’s had a great deal of success with other couples.
All seems to be going well at the secluded cottage, with Sophie and Ethan reconnecting almost immediately upon arrival. However, all is not as it appears. After Sophie and Ethan have sex for the first time in many moons, Ethan has no recollection of these events. Sophie is understandably upset, and the two fight about it.
At this point I’m really hoping there are clones (spoiler alert: there are no clones).
The next morning, all is forgotten, and Sophie is making Ethan’s favorite forbidden breakfast food, bacon. When he leaves the house, he sees Sophie standing outside. Apparently there is a real Sophie and an ideal Sophie, just as there is a real Ethan and an ideal version.
Both Ethan and Sophie are really freaked out and decide to leave immediately; however, upon further consideration, Sophie thinks they should explore the possibilities. They set some ground rules, which you know are going to break into tiny little pieces.
In Sophie’s ideal world, Ethan paints a portrait of her, makes her drinks, gives her massages, and doesn’t wear glasses. He is emotionally available, articulates why he cheated, and has better hair.
Ethan’s ideal Sophie is significantly more housewife-y and doesn’t mind Ethan doing whatever the fuck he wants. It becomes clear pretty quickly that Sophie is really into her ideal Ethan, while real Ethan is uncomfortable with the inauthenticity of his relationship with ideal Sophie because she’s not real.
However, the lines of reality are about to blur as ideal Ethan starts texting real Sophie and calling Ethan’s friends and family.
Ethan goes beyond Othello on the jealousy scale and schemes to catch her breaking the rules of their agreement. He tells Sophie he’s going to the store, but actually sneaks into the guest house and impersonates the other Ethan in time to get some action (this is so close to being a soap opera, you guys).
As Sophie tells Ethan she plans to stay, they return to the house and find the ideal versions of themselves sitting inside. They all have a very surreal dinner together involving aardvark metaphors and extreme passive-aggressiveness. This culminates in the revelation of real Ethan’s fake grocery store scheming, and Sophie asks him to leave.
With a bit of alone time, Ethan discovers some mysterious tapes and realizes Ted Danson trained the Ethan/Sophie counterparts. Surprisingly, ideal Sophie says she will help Ethan escape, though she and the other Ethan will remain trapped at the house. She would rather remain trapped with ideal Ethan than see him leave with real Sophie.
Thus begins the plot to trap the ideal couple at the house, which involves dramatic sweater changes, hidden force fields, and a moment right out of Star Trek featuring a fight between the two Ethans.
Okay, I am admittedly always ready to start a fight with screenwriters, but I still don’t understand why Ted Danson was doing all of this. If you’re going to go out of your way to conspire in a pretty nonsensical sci-fi scheme, you NEED to have a motive or I WILL be annoyed.
The humor was fairly dry and witty, but the pacing of the movie was very slow. Probably because, according to Netflix, this is a “cerebral” movie, but it wasn’t quite as clever as it wanted to be.
Depending on how much sci-fi (or soaps) with clones/doubles/evil twins you watch, you will probably see the ending coming.
Side note: blonde Elisabeth Moss was weird and distracting and quite Gillian Anderson-y looking.
Eh…I sort of liked it, but I probably would’ve stopped watching about halfway through if it weren’t for the blog.
Check out Christa’s review too!