The One I Love ***1/2 (out of five)
Charlie McDowell’s intriguing little three-hander is a dramatic RomCom with a Twilight Zone hue. And Twilight Zone is the right reference; besides the characters in the film likening their situation to being in an episode of that show, it’s also a handy catch-call for something that is neither SciFi, Fantasy nor Horror but has a plot mechanism that falls between the cracks of those genres.
Mark Duplass and the ever-more compelling Elisabeth Moss play a couple who are not doing well. Their counsellor, played by Ted Danson (yay!), gives them the address of a property in Ojai, California that, he claims, has helped many couples before them re-discover the love. When they get there, they gradually discover that the house and its surroundings offer more than peace, beauty and a lovely pool.
To say more would be to spoil things, because the film has some very nicely calibrated twists and turns. It’s gently funny, it’s compelling, the performances are excellent, and it flies in the face of conventional romantic films, always carving its own path. Satisfying, charming and recommended.