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Tribeca Film Festival: ‘Plus One’ (review)

Produced by Deborah Liebling,
Ross Putman, Jeremy Reitz,
Jeff Chan, Andrew Rhymer,
Greg Beauchamp

Written and Directed by
Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer
Starring Maya Erskine, Jack Quaid,
Beck Bennett, Rosalind Chao,
Perrey Reeves, Ed Begley J
r.

 

For singles, weddings can be the most dreadful time of year.

Surrounded in a seas of happiness while others are celebrating the joys of love and expected togetherness.

For Alice (Maya Erskine) weddings are a time to drown her sorrows in the most amount of alcohol as possible which often leads to nighttime of vomiting while no holds the hair out her face.

For Ben (Jack Quaid), he just spends his time sitting alone at the singles table desperately trying to entertain married women who will never really take him seriously.

However, things change for the two when they decide to pair up to attend a slew of summer weddings together, thus creating the perfect mix humor, adventure and possible clichéd romance.

Romantic comedies are currently revitalized with popular success of Crazy Rich Asians, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Love, Simon.

In Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer’s Plus One they flip the repeated rom-com formula on its head but jam-packing it with snappy dialogue, delightful chemistry and a lot of sassiness. Trading hilarious insults like a game a chess, Alice and Ben find comfort in each other they didn’t know was originally there, etching away at each other’s metaphoric walls.

While watching the duo slowly bond through various activities, the story dives deeper into their backgrounds which helps us understand just how and why everyone’s single and their overall view of being in a relationship.

Alice who is still not over her breakup with Nate (Tim Chiou), may accidentally projecting on to Ben. While Ben is fiercely determined to fall in love, he fiercely disapproves of his father’s third marriage and his views on love.

While Plus One is will have you smiling from beginning to end, the movie is not perfect and does a great disservice to the audience by spending half of its time building Ben and Alice as a “just friends” while basically abandoning their screen time as a couple. During this crucial moment, Ben struggles with insecurities are at an all time high which greatly impacts their relationship, however we’re never shown this battle between the two which makes for a clunky ending, even during the ups and downs of their romantic relationships, the script favors Ben’s journey over Alice.

Despite its issues, Plus One is a fiery charming movie that allows its actors to have fun with their characters.

Quaid is slowly proving himself as a leading man with the ability to create an engaging character, frustrated at his decisions yet continue to root for him. While Erskine is a true heroine who proves at the end of the day, only she can save herself.

 

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