The One I Love

For context, I’m a fan of Mark Duplass, but I find some of his stuff unwatchable. His improv style for movies walks a fine line between good and unwatchable garbage.

I just watched The One I Love, which I had never heard of before, and it has immediately become one of my very favorite movies.

I’d like to recommend it, and discuss it, but I can’t in good conscience describe anything about it for fear of spoiling it. Not even the genre, though I can say that it isn’t a horror movie. (ie: If you won’t watch horror movies, no worries here.)

If you have ever liked any Mark Duplass movie, I urge you to watch this. It’s far and away his best movie, I think. While it is (of course) largely improved dialogue, like all his movies, this one has more polish than any of his other efforts. It looks and feels like a real movie, with a real cinematographer, and a real script.

And what a script! I had no idea what this movie was about, but Netflix predicted I would give it 4 stars so I grudgingly watched it. I gave it 5.

It’s a good enough movie in the tradition of The Twilight Zone (if a tad overlong for its premise) or a bargain bin Charlie Kaufman story, but to be clear Duplass neither wrote or directed the film. And Elizabeth Moss is really the standout performance in the film.


It’s a Duplass Brothers production, and it’s clear from the commentary that most of the dialogue is improvised.

It was the director’s first movie (the son of Mary Steenburgen) and the screenwriter’s first script, which was a treatment based on a one-line idea pitch by Mark Duplass. Essentially it’s Mark’s movie, but with newcomers handling the official writing and directing roles.

That’s not to say they didn’t have a huge impact. As eluded to above, the look and feel, and the dialogue, are elevated far above the typical Mark Duplass fare, which is usually a very stripped down, bare-bones type of movie. (ie: Creep.)

And totally agreed that Elizabeth Moss is what makes the movie really shine.

As for it being a bargain bin Charlie Kaufman story, yeah, that’s a fair comparison in tone but I think it’s overly dismissive. I appreciate how Kaufman swings for the fences, but I find his movies hit or miss. Loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; more than The One I Love. But I thought Adaptation and Human Nature were both good-but-not-great, and I hated Being John Malkovich.

My review. From 2014.

It’s one of those “it may or may not work for you” movies.

And I thought this was about the song with the same name. :stuck_out_tongue: