The first rule of TOIL: don’t talk about TOIL

by Jorge Ignacio Castillo

theoneiloveThe One I Love
Nov. 6-9, RPL Film Theatre
3.5 out of 5

I’ve been known for revealing spoilers: a reader once trashed me for revealing Gwyneth Paltrow’s decapitated fate in Seven (a 20 year-old movie). My nerd editor also didn’t appreciate being told Thanos was in The Avengers’ post-credit scene. Well, it’s not like it was Howard the Duck.

Now I have to review The One I Love, a genuine spoiler minefield featuring a game-changing twist 15 MINUTES INTO THE MOVIE! And I’ve been banned from revealing it. I can say this: As low-budget indies go, The One I Love makes great use of very limited resources and transcends the central gimmick with provocative ideas about couple-dom.

Ethan (Mark Duplass, Your Sister’s Sister) and Sophie (Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men) are married but their relationship is on the verge of collapse. Following their therapist’s (Ted Danson!) advice, they go to a cottage to rekindle the romance. Things go sideways. Twilight Zone sideways.

As long as The One I Love focuses on Ethan and Sophie’s rocky rapport, the film soars. The question it introduces — would you get into a relationship with your significant other if you knew his/her real self, the one that only comes out years later? — is poignant, and may lead to uncomfortable conversations.

The One I Love remains above average by having original ideas and gambling with a fairly controversial ending (if you choose to take it at face value, it can be very irksome to the women in the audience). Just don’t make it a double feature with Gone Girl.