With the already-announced The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg, and a chance for everyone to get what they’ve always dreamed of (two Jake Gyllenhaals) with Enemy, 2014 is already shaping up to be the year of the doppelganger. Two more films are turning doubles into a trend by giving us Zoe Kazan and Ed Harris duplicates. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The first up is Jenée LaMarque‘s The Pretty One, a mildly depressing concept of a film in which Kazan stars as identical twins who get in a tragic car accident. When her “prettier,” more likeable sister Audrey dies in the crash and everyone assumes it was the twin they didn’t like (rude), Laurel assumes her identity and begins living out a better life. It’s a life of red lipstick, cuter clothes, a good job, a big city apartment and a Jake Johnson love interest, so things are definitely an improvement over whatever was happening in her old world.
Of course, while she’s frittering away in her barbie dream life, her feelings that have developed for her neighbor (Johnson) will likely make it impossible for her to keep up her charade. At some point, she’s going to want her love to see the real Laurel — “ugly” and all. Something seems like perpetual beardy dream guy Jake Johnson is going to stick around when she does.
Arin Posin‘s The Face of Love goes about the business of introducing a doppelganger in a little bit less quirky terms. When a widow (Annette Bening) finally decides to start getting back out there and attending art classes, she meets a man who could pass for a clone of her late husband (Ed Harris). She instantly falls for him, because he’s giving her what she’s been missing this entire time — another chance at happiness with her dearly departed. But his uncanny resemblance is enough that she needs to hide all photos of her past life from her boyfriend — and hide him away from anyone that knew her when she was with her husband.
Essentially, the film seems at first glance like a romantic Vertigo, minus the horrifying edge of the murder plot on the end of the doppleganger. Unless Harris is up to something not quite revealed in the trailer. The film does appear to have the potential to be somewhat sinister, if Bening’s widow is obsessed to the point of attempting to mold her new boyfriend into her dead husband. This could just be a sad, sad romance about sad, sad people, though.
The Pretty One is in theaters February 7th. The Face of Love is in theaters March 7th.