The One I Love is a brilliant character study on duality, perception and love.
Whether it be a project that he has written with his brother, or just something in which he appears as an actor, it is a safe bet that anything that Mark Duplass turns his hand to will at least be interesting. The One I Love is no exception. The Kafkaesque concept (which I won’t go into to avoid spoilers) is an ingenious one but also risky. It is difficult to keep an audience engaged in a relationship movie if you start to mess with the supernatural or astrophysics.
Apart from the ridiculously good Togetherness (scandalously cancelled by HBO), this is the best performance I have seen from Duplass but it is Elizabeth Moss who really impresses. They share a great chemistry but Duplass and Moss also simmer and pop in the more argumentative scenes, and it is Duplass’ trademark improvised dialogue that adds an air of realism and keeps a surreal film grounded.
Ted Danson provides fun support in the early section of the movie but after that it is all about Duplass and Moss and watching them play so many different facets of the same character begs the question, why do we not see either of them in more mainstream roles?
There aren’t enough films that go off the beaten track without becoming a full blown genre film. The One I Love however is not quite science fiction, nor is it a romantic drama or a horror but it contains elements of all three to become greater than the sum of its parts. Whether it be as a writer, actor or director, I have always been impressed with pretty much all of Mark Duplass’ stuff (give or take a couple of seasons of The League) and I am pleased to say that The One I Love is a worthy addition to a great body of work.