The One I Love resembles a certain type of Sundance movie on its surface, especially since it stars Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss and indie filmmaker (and The League funny man) Mark Duplass as a married couple on the verge of separation. But not everything is as it seems in Charlie McDowell’s movie, which premieres at Sundance on Tuesday, Jan. 21. The couple’s therapist (Ted Danson) sends them on a weekend retreat, which seems idyllic but quickly turns weird. Perhaps otherworldly. “The most exciting thing about this movie is that there’s a very unexpected twist as to what you think this movie will be, and it happens very early on in the film,” says Duplass, who also executive produced. “Lizzie and I are predominately known for doing in-depth personal relationship type films and TV, and we wanted to do something that at once embodied and at the same time flipped that on its head.”
So what’s the twist?
Duplass won’t say, though in the video clip below, his character Ethan seems to be acting as though the wife he went to bed with is not the same woman who’s cooking him breakfast.
McDowell, whose parents are the actors Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen, was also challenged by Duplass’s cryptic brevity. The producer pitched the seed of a plot in a one-sentence email. “This was the first time that I gave so very little information of what I thought the movie could be and about, kind of purposely,” says Duplass. “That initial concept I gave him was, ‘Okay, here’s about nine words. There’s something interesting in here. Can you build a movie out of it?’ And he totally did it.”
Click below to see Moss and Duplass the morning after… something happened.