Plus One (2019)

3.5 of 5 from 52 ratings
1h 39min
Not released
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Long-time friends Alice (Maya Erskine) and Ben (Jack Quaid) find themselves in that inevitable year that all late 20-somethings experience - in which seemingly every person they know gets married - and agree to be one another's plus ones as they power through an endless parade of insufferable weddings.
, , , , Kiersten Armstrong, , , , , , , , Christine Bullen, , , , , Laura Juliet Ford, ,
, Andrew Rhymer
Greg Beauchamp, Jeff Chan, Deborah Liebling, Ross Putman, Jeremy Reitz, Andrew Rhymer
Jeff Chan, Andrew Rhymer
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
99 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1

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Critic review

Plus One review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

The ideal within a romantic comedy is to root for the duo to get across the finished line. You’ve seen these players before, the race quite common, and the goal so visible from the first act you can read the lettering of the tape. If Plus One was a pairing this race, it would be the old-timer with a busted leg. They have a history of making these races to the end and part of you just wants to hop in there and shove it along, yet another side wants to see if the race can be completed once more. It’s enough to make one watch out of mild fascination than to champion the final steps.

To go hard on Plus One’s premise is too easy to pierce and also rather pointless. Time after time, the common critique of the genre is that they all end the same. A couple meet, it won’t happen, it will happen, it might not happen and then, surprise, it happens. Here we have a coupling that takes flight upon a very common canvas: that of a wedding. Alice (Maya Erskine) and Ben (Jack Quaid) have been friends for the longest time and their 20s aren’t going to last forever. They take note of how all their mutuals seem to be pairing up and getting married. Faced with an onslaught of wedding events, the two decide to be there for each other as their plus one at each wedding. Thus they make awkward conversation about how they’re a couple but not a couple. It’s not like they love each other or anything. Or do they?

They have plenty of time to make this ultimate choice in love, however, as they’re paired up for 10 weddings across one summer. While unorthodox, it does give the couple plenty of time to contemplate and form that bond while getting used to the mundanity of wedding ceremonies. In many ways, this brings a bit of an air of realism to their relationship. How many films have found a romantic pairing form so tightly within a singular wedding event? There’s a fantastical nature to watching such whimsy on the screen that can come off quite contrived at times within this genre. So if given the choice between a relationship forming at one wedding or ten weddings, the choice seems obvious if the characters are not zooming into commitment at lightspeed.

Director Jeff Chen and Andrew Rhymer have built a fairly by-the-numbers romantic comedy that is at least robust enough to hold up for its leads to flourish. There are numerous scenes that come with predictably assembly but are hard to deny their appeal in being cute. The directing duo make no illusion about what they’re trying to do and lean into the rom-com tropes with gusto, having great faith in the actors to make it work. And to some extend, Erskine and Quaid have that magic to make this film work about as well as it can under such rickety cobblings of The Holiday smushed together with Destination Wedding.

Plus One never breaks out of its cramped shell of rom-com conception but still has enough fun within its premise to make the love-stinks-but-not-really build just a tad more touching than it usually comes off. I enjoyed the performances of the leads, the energy they exude in their busy lifestyle, and the torment they feel about being unsure to connect as friend amid ceremonies of commitment. No surprises present but a few smiles perhaps.

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