Plus One

I have spent most of my life hanging out with people in the DIY music or art scenes, and if you know anything about these people, or are one yourself, you know that typically there is a bit of arrested development involved. So there aren’t very many wedding invitations coming one’s way until they reach their late ’30s-’40s. For the rest of you out there, I have gathered from observing the normal people of the world, and there is a thing called “wedding season.” Everyone seems to want to get married in the same stretch of time between Mid-May and Mid-July. Which for the record if I ever get married, it’s going to be in November on a Monday just to spite this whole phenomenon.

I have to imagine that for single people who consistently get invited to their friend’s weddings, that this is a gigantic pain in the ass. There’s a thing called “the singles table,” which in every film or television show I’ve ever seen is some less-desirable Addams Family situation (this film included). Or you can bring a random date as a plus-one. For longtime friends Alice (Maya Erskine) and Ben (Jack Quaid), this wedding season is looking to be daunting. Each of them has five weddings to go to, some at home and others in destinations (and can I just state how obnoxious and presumptuous destination weddings are if you’re not, I don’t know…Beyonce? Traveling somewhere by plane for a weekend to attend the second most boring ceremony possible {only to be topped by a graduation, honestly,} followed by a night of drunken debauchery is EXPENSIVE and I have to imagine, extremely time-consuming).

“…Alice has the idea that they should be each other’s ‘plus-ones.’ It ends up working pretty well…”

Ben and Alice are first faced with attending each of these events alone until Alice has the idea that they should be each other’s “plus-ones.” It ends up working pretty well for them, as Ben is kind of the Ted Mosby or Jerry Seinfeld of this film in that no girl is ever “the one” for some reason or another, and Alice just got cheated on by her former boyfriend, Nate. Throw into the mix the fact that Ben’s father, Chuck (Ed Begley Jr.) is getting married to his third wife and that Alice’s sister is getting married before her, and ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a good old fashioned romantic comedy.

Thankfully, this film is not filled with cringe-worthy dialogue and (not too many) dumb tropes that usually litter any film that involved the W-word. Maya Erskine is hilarious, which is no surprise, given how funny she is on Hulu’s Pen15. Jack Quaid has a quirky charm to him and is pretty darn handsome, just like his dad (Dennis, and after a short while, you can start to see a resemblance between the two). My only beef with this movie is the third act falls into some rather predictable “friends turned lovers equals disaster” territory, and the outcome is somewhat expected, but overall I think the movie is hilarious and cute.

There are some really great performances, especially in cameos by Rosalind Chao as Alice’s mother, Finn Wittrock as a dorky hotel clerk, Max Jenkins & Brandon Kyle Goodman as the least crazy couple getting married, Nick and Brett, and Joe Bays as Uncle Davis. The script by Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer is also great, as is their direction. I feel like some of the dialogue must be improvised, considering the cast, but all of it feels very natural. I’m excited to see what happens when this film has its theatrical release. I’m curious to see how much audiences love it and I just can’t help but think the answer will be..a lot!

Plus One (2019) Written and Directed by Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer. Starring Maya Erskine, Jack Quaid, Ed Begley Jr., Beck Bennett, Rosalind Chao, Max Jenkins, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Joe Bays, Finn Wittrock, Jon Bass, Tim Chiou, Victoria Park, Perrey Reeves

7 out of 10 stars

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