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What's the Point? is a comedy investigating the concept that marriage should be a seven-year contract with an option to renew. The story is told through the lens of a pretentious documentarian and follows three couples at various stages in their relationships.
"I Do... Until I Don't" (2017 release; 103 min.) brings the story of a British woman doing a documentary about the state of marriage. As the movie opens, Vivian, the British woman, is giving a presentation to a group of people in Vero Beach, FL. Vivian wonders if there is support to making marriage a 7 year deal with a renewal option. Meanwhile we get to know several married couples: there is Alice and Noah, who sell blinds for interior decorating, are low on money and trying to conceive. Vivian's sister Fanny and her husband are "free thinkers" (read: hippies) who supposedly have an open marriage. And then there is Cybil and Harvey, an older couple whose marriage has seen better times. At this point we are 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the second feature length movie (after the excellent "In a World" a few years ago) that is written, produced and directed by Lake Bell (in addition to starring in the lead role, here as Alice). This basic premise is potentially interesting but alas, the movie gets stuck in certain patterns that are utterly predictable and not even interesting. It's a darn shame, as certainly the performers try their best: Ed Helms plays Bell's husband, but the show is for me almost stolen by the delightful Mary Steenburgen (as Cybil), an all too rare sighting of this great actress. Paul Reiser portrays her husband. This movie is billed as a comedy, and while there certainly are some moments that I chuckled, there isn't anything remotely crazy funny in the movie. In fact, the movie is more rom-com than just comedy. In the end, this movie feels like a missed opportunity: so much talent on the screen! I absolutely love Lake Bell, and I really wanted to like this, but in the end I just couldn't.
"I Do... Until I Don't" is now in its second week at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Saturday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not great (7 people, including myself). Given the so-so critical buzz and correlating word-of-mouth, I can't see this playing in theaters very long. This movie really is for Lake Bell fans, and even there, better see this with lowered expectations.
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