The One I Love premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and it did so to quite a bit of acclaim. Critics saw it as an intelligent and neatly wound little romance — one that happened to be built around a swirling black hole of weirdness. You see, The One I Love has a twist (over at Film.com, our own Kate Erbland wrote that “the film is brisk, funny, smart, and artful, a strong pairing of high concept and relatable storylines”). And the film’s trailer, which dropped today, is more than happy to tell you all about it. “Oh, such a twist it is,” the trailer croons, twirling whatever the movie trailer equivalent is of an elaborate mustache. “You’ve never seen anything like it. It’s revolutionary, I dare say.”
Meanwhile, the characters all refer to it in nearly every string of dialogue, while the blurbs praise its Charlie Kaufman-esque ingenuity. The trailer is seriously set on this twist. It just won’t tell us what it is.
What we do know, at least, are things like characters and setting and story. The One I Love stars Elisabeth Moss as Sophie, and Mark Duplass as Ethan, two halves of a married couple that has apparently fallen on troubled times. As a last-ditch marriage-saving effort, they agree to spend a weekend in an unbelievably romantic (and isolated) vacation spot, certain that being in a home that looks pretty and smells nice is the way to stave off divorce.
But then a thing happens. It’s tough to say any more than that — they enter a room, then they exit the room in a serious state of freaking out, having seen or done or experienced something vaguely metaphysical. Moss, at one point, asks if it’s another dimension, while Ted Danson (their therapist, obviously) says that previous couples who’ve experienced the scary room have come back “renewed.”
My guess? It has something to do with seeing a younger version of yourself. But, seriously, I have no idea. Take a look for yourself:
There’s a plus side, at least, to having no earthly understanding of what this movie is about. It definitely looks like something worth seeing (even if it’s only to figure out what the hell is going on). Also, it’s got some style to it, like that whip pan about twenty-seconds in. Nothing else in the trailer can quite measure up, but there’s probably more to find in a ninety minute film than a two-minute trailer.
And despite consisting of two people standing by a pool or going in and out of a single door, it manages to capture a decent air of excitement. What’s behind the door? What’s the significance of the pool? If the trailer would just tell us already, things would be a lot less maddening. But then, there’d be far less of a reason to see The One I Love. Weigh your options accordingly.
The One I Love hits theaters on August 15th.