Starring: Maya Erskine, Jack Quaid, Ed Begley Jr.
Director: Jeff Chan, Andrew Rhymer
Running Time: 98 mins
Plus One is an American film about two friends who agree to be each other’s plus ones at a series of weddings, only for their own relationship to develop into something much more.
It might sound a bit dour of me to say, but there are too many positive movies about weddings nowadays. As lovely as those are, it’s nice to see a film with a little bit more of a cynical eye on weddings, poking fun at everything that makes them a cumbersome and irritating part of people’s lives.
Of course, that’s not necessarily for the people getting married, but for the guests who have to trundle around the circus of their friends’ weddings, going through the same motions again and again with seemingly little to really enjoy unless you’re particularly close to the people at the centre of the occasion.
That’s the kind of cold-hearted cynicism that I do welcome in the odd romantic comedy, and it’s certainly the highlight of Plus One, a film which has the potential to be a thoroughly enjoyable and unique watch, although ends up as a film with relatively little in the way of genuinely entertaining comedy or romance.
The problem is that Plus One, for all its strengths and capacity to bring a slightly different perspective to the world of weddings and marriage, is in the end just as generic as the films and love stories that it seems to be poking fun at.
Ultimately, I get that that’s pretty much the point of the movie, that there’s no need to always try to be different from what everybody else is doing, because the easier route can bring you more happiness, but the fact is that the movie doesn’t do much with its more generic rom-com tendencies.
If it were a little more romantic, or at least a little funnier, then I could have enjoyed the film with my brain turned off a little more. However, Plus One still tries to keep that quirky, thinking-outside-the-box mentality while simultaneously building up to the revelation that its own attitude is in itself the problem its main characters are facing.
In the lead roles, Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid are perfectly likable and have some decent chemistry, but it’s neither enough to make sparks really fly on screen, nor enough to make the ups and downs of their platonic-into-romantic relationship particularly convincing or captivating.
In short, the film ultimately becomes the very thing that it’s mocking, losing its cynical attitude in a deliberate twist that’s ultimately for the worse. That doesn’t make it a terrible film, and it’s certainly fair enough the message that it’s trying to put across, but it makes it a difficult movie to really enjoy. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 6.5 overall.