Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I Do... Until I Don't

Dolly Wells stars as a documentary filmmaker with a personal vendetta against marriage who sets out to prove that the concept no longer works in a modern world. In order to prove her thesis that matrimony should only last for seven years (with an option to renew), the filmmaker sets her sights on three unhappy Florida couples: a pair of senior citizens (Paul Reiser and Mary Steenburgen), a middle-aged couple (Lake Bell and Ed Helms) struggling with money and starting a family, and pair of free-love hippies (Wyatt Cenac and Amber Heard).

Writer, director, and star Lake Bell may have won me over with 2013's In a World..., but her latest is severely lacking in charm (while sadly having no lack of cliche to fall back on). After an hour of insufferable characters who only really begin to show small moments humanity in the film's last half-hour, I Do... Until I Don't is like the first date from hell that only gets bearable as it nears its end. Even the few moments of genuine emotion we see in the last half-hour are sullied by the script falling back into the contrivance of the filmmaker's project in its final few moments.

There is some obvious talent on-screen here, but no one is used to their full potential as each is hamstrung by a script that offers us a collection of unlikable one-note characters while waiting an hour to offer even a single reason to care for any of these people. If my only choices in accepting this lackluster movie are I Do or I Don't, then I Certainly Do Not.

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