“The One I Love” is diverting, but nothing catches fire, despite Ms. Moss, an amazing actress fast breaking free of the limits imposed on her by “Mad Men.”
Yes and no. Mad Men is the most exquisite television show ever produced, and it hardly limits Elisabeth Moss’s acting skills. Her characterization of Peggy Olson in Mad Men is complex, nuanced and layered to a degree not at all achieved in The One I Love. Reading Ms. Dargis’ review, I think she’s a little overly taken with Ms. Moss’s performance.
Having said that, I am in complete agreement with the remainder of her astute and exceptionally well-written evaluation. While mainly praising The One I Love, she criticizes it as a “modestly sized puzzler” with an “inadequate, muddled finish” — sentiment which expresses the failure of the movie to live up to its promise. It could have gone so much further.
Nevertheless, this was an entertaining, refreshing, quick little movie with a likability — yes, largely due to Moss’s performance as so vaunted by Ms. Dargis — that makes it an easy recommendation. Due to the “narrative uncertainty, marital gamesmanship and speculative foolishness” (Dargis again) that take place within the tight confines of these vacation homes, I see The One I Love as a successful take on last year’s disappointing Much Ado About Nothing. 7/10