Saturday, December 12, 2015

This review is from: The One I Love (Amazon Instant Video)

Although  _The One I Love_ does not have a strong ending, the film itself is an inventive combination, or doubling, of two genres about the double, the horror film and the screwball comedy. In the horror genre, the doubles always become enemies, as in the Villeneuve film Enemy [Blu-ray], and one of them ends up dead. (See also the Jessie Eisenberg film The Double.) The earliest version is The Student of Prague. In the screwball comedy version, and The Lady Eve (The Criterion Collection) is a perfect example, a couple who is engaged or already married separates and then meets up again, only this time one of them doesn't know that the other is impersonating someone else. In The Lady Eve, Henry Fonda thinks that Barbara Stanwyck is really two different people in the film. "Positively the same dame" is the last line of the film, and Fonda never realizes that the woman he marries is the same woman he refused to marry mid-way through the film. It's on youtube for free, btw. Fonda falls in love with the double. The film can end as a comedy, however, because one of the two characters disappears, dies, in effect and displaced by the other, newer double. _The One I Love_ at first seems to be a kind of David Lynch horror film about a married couple who have a terrible relationship (think Lost Highway There are even scenes with iphones.) But then  _The One I Love_ becomes very talkie and the couple seem to get happier and able to renew their marriage, like in a screwball comedy. The interest of _The One I Love_ is that it keeps you wondering which of the two genre it belongs to. And the achievement of the film is that it manages to be, turns, funny, frightening, disturbing, heart-warming, and sad. Perhaps the ending is strong, if you consider that the film combines but never reconciles or synthesizes the two genres. The ending seems open-ended: it is perhaps horribly happy, or happily horrible.  There are only three characters, and the one played by Ted Danson disappears early on in the film. It's a very original film, and for that reason some people will dislike it, as the negative reviews here make clear. My wife and I only watched the film because I read it about it in an article about underrated films on Netflix. We were glad we did. You have to pay close attention to the film in order to follow and appreciate it. Even if you don't like my review, you may still like _The One I Love_.​

No comments: