Netflix Pick of the Week: ‘The One I Love’

Four years as a broke college student has taught me the value of a Netflix account. My name is Alexandra Taylor and I am a senior writing major who watches all of the bad Netflix films so you don’t have to! Every week I will share the best of what I’ve seen, explain why you should watch it and let you decide for yourself whether these little-known films were worth the 120 minutes you spent.

On to my review:

Most of us know a couple that has seemingly lost their spark. When they first got together, he romanced her with flowers and she baked him heart-shaped cookies while they watched Wes Anderson movies. They went on quirky dates like taking photos with old Nikons while kayaking to watch an obscure concert at Humphrey’s. But lately it seems that whatever they had, they’ve lost. They bicker instead of giggle and they sigh instead of smile. What if you could find the love you lost with the person you care about?

This is the question addressed in “The One I Love,” author Charlie McDowell’s directorial debut featuring Elisabeth Moss as Sophie (“Mad Men,” “Girl Interrupted”) and Mark Duplass as Ethan (“The League,” “Safety Not Guaranteed”). At the suggestion of their therapist (Ted Danson), the listless couple visits a scenic vacation home in what looks like the heart of California’s wine country. Moss’ character peruses an album filled with pictures of happy couples and their success stories. The two of them share a meal, explore the grounds and things seem to be going well. In fact, things seem to be going a little too well. Without spoiling anything, let me just say that in the end, they find exactly what they are looking for—and it’s not what you expect.

If you are like me, you will watch this film, think maybe it is going on a little too slow and start flipping through your Instagram feed. Then you will look up and find yourself watching the strangeness of a Twilight Zone-esque romance that will make you wonder: Why is this under the Comedy section?

No, you are not tripping on bad cafeteria coffee — you did just see what you thought you saw. There is a disturbing mystery unraveling that hints at more than a little trouble in paradise. In fact, the chaos that ensues probes deep into the very nature of human relationships and love. Do we only love the one we want to see?

The setting needed little help in the area of cinematography– the lush landscape of vivid greens and yellows created a veritable Garden of Eden. While there is little in terms of a soundtrack, the mood is serene. The acting on the part of Moss and Duplass is seamless. The interplay of roles– both the smitten new couple and exhausted relationship– show a breadth and depth of the chemistry and talent of the two actors.

If you like stories that make you feel as well as think about the nature of relationships, then this film is for you. Also, if you are like me and you like Elisabeth Moss in just about anything, you’ll love it also. Is there a happy ending? That is for you to decide.