At its start, Charlie McDowell’s The One I Love appears to be a pretty standard indie flm about a charming couple and their quest for meaning in the everyday. Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass play Sophie and Ethan, a pair whose relationship problems have landed them on either end of a therapist’s couch. Their shrink, played by just the right kooky actor— McDowell’s stepdad Ted Danson—suggests that the two take a weekend vacation to reconnect, and recommends a getaway just outside of town that seems to have done the trick for other clients.
One immediately wonders if their doc is getting a kickback from the inn for sending so many lovers in peril. But that’s not quite the shadiness that Sophie and Ethan discover when, after exploring the grounds of the vacation house, they realize that they are not the only houseguests. To say any more would be to spoil the fun of McDowell’s debut flm (which feels impressively confident for a first go at directing a feature)—the inventiveness of which makes it a ball to watch even when things take a turn for the existential.
The film opens nationwide today.