The One I Love Movie Poster Image

The One I Love



Unpredictable, thought-provoking relationship drama.
  • Review Date: August 19, 2014
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Marriages can be difficult, and sometimes people need to be reminded why they fell in love. After a long time, couples might only see each other's flaws, and it can be tough to look past that and recognize the real person they're with.

Positive role models

At the retreat, Ethan is motivated to be a better husband and partner by seeing unexpected possibilities, while Sophie must decide whether she likes the "new and improved" Ethan or the original. They both have to make a difficult choice.


Couples bicker.


A couple makes love tenderly and affectionately. There's no nudity, but plenty of motion under the covers.


Infrequent profanity includes "s--t" and "f--k."


One character uses an iPhone.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults drink wine at meals and while relaxing and socializing. In some scenes, they also smoke pot.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The One I Love is an offbeat indie dramedy (with a thriller streak) about the ways that people in long-term relationships slowly change -- and how those changes affect their partners. At the suggestion of their therapist, the main characters spend a weekend away at a small compound; they ultimately learn far more about each other, and themselves, than they expected or wanted. Expect several scenes with with pot smoking and social drinking, some swearing ("f--k," "s--t," etc.), and a few tender love scenes (no nudity). Be prepared to be surprised.

What's the story?

Sophie (Elisabeth Moss) and Ethan (Mark Duplass) are a married couple on the verge of breaking up. Their therapist sends them on a getaway to a mini-estate in a last-ditch effort to make inroads in their efforts to renew their stalled, damaged relationship. They're ostensibly by themselves ... or are they? In the guest house is another couple who's surprisingly similar to them and knows lots of intimate details about their lives. The encounter forces Sophie and Ethan to examine themselves, both as individuals and as a duo, and they come to some surprising conclusions.

Is it any good?


THE ONE I LOVE is fresh and eerie and insightful all at once, hard to categorize either as a romance (because much of it is about love) or as a thriller (because it is creepy). Much of the film's charm is attributable to Moss. She grounds the movie in an approachable authenticity, even as she manages to inhabit a role that's both ineffable and earthy. She's a master at subtlety without shorting her portrayal of a woman at a loss on how to make her marriage work, if she even wants to. She's the best part of the film. (Duplass' Ethan doesn't seem as specific as Moss' Sophie; we don't quite know why he makes the choices he does.)

An offbeat script allows The One I Love to straddle different genres with a certain degree of success, taking unpredictable turns while hitting certain milestones that we tend to expect from both relationship dramas and thrillers. Once you give yourself over to the plot's bizarro nature, you're attached to Sophie and Ethan (perhaps more Sophie than Ethan), wondering where this windy road leads. The ending may still leave you with questions, but it is satisfying. And, frankly, disheartening.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how The One I Love depicts love and marriage. Are its insights fresh and new? What's the overarching message?

  • What does the movie say about identity? How is it different from other romantic dramas/comedies you've seen?

  • What role do drinking and drug use play in the movie? Are there realistic consequences?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 22, 2014
DVD release date:November 4, 2014
Cast:Elisabeth Moss, Mark Duplass, Ted Danson
Director:Charlie McDowell
Studio:Radius TWC
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language, some sexuality and drug use

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Teen, 17 years old Written byB-KMastah September 19, 2014

One of the most pleasant surprises of 2014.

I knew nothing about this movie going into it, which is extremely rare for me. I went to a 5:00 showing on a Sunday afternoon, and in turn, I got one of the most pleasant surprises of the year. I personally recommend that you go into this knowing virtually nothing like I did, but it wouldn't ruin your viewing experience or anything if you did. So, full disclosure ahead, I'm going including spoilers, but I think that it'd be better to go in knowing nothing since none of the synopses that I've seen actually fully tell the plot. Anyways, this movie is pretty great. I know that this sounds like a super weird comparison, but it reminded me of a cross between Twelfth Night and The Twilight Zone or a "monster-of-the-week" episode of The X-Files. It looks and starts like a rather standard romantic comedy (but it's actually funny, so that's already a plus), but instead turns into something much more unique. The acting is very good: both Duplass and Moss give realistic performances while injecting subtle differences due to the fact that each of them plays two different characters (to an extent). The script gives us smart characters that don't do stupid things solely to move the plot along, and the pacing is good. It's 91 minutes, but doesn't feel like it's too short. As the movie slowly unravels itself, it becomes more and more interesting, but never becomes tonally inconsistent. It does its job very well and stays modest throughout, mostly due to its humor. It wouldn't quite make it onto my list of the best films of 2014 because I wouldn't say that it holds the analysis-worthy rewatches that Enemy demanded earlier this year (which this film did remind me of to a certain extent), but it does have some interesting views on relationships and marriage. It's a great indie that you should try to catch if you can, specifically in a theater as opposed to on streaming or in the ancillary market. 8.6/10, great, (almost) two thumbs up, far above average, etc.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bymassie11 December 14, 2014

Best Indie of 2014 !!!!! DO NOT MISS

I watched this on netflix one night . i instantly fell in love . mild for an r . mostly language and drugs . this is something i would call a dramadeythriller .One of my favorites from 2014 9.8 out of 10
Parent Written bywingibbons January 10, 2015


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