Diggsy Ellston (Kristopher Wente) is an emotional wreck after watching the woman he loved from afar, Suzette (Sara Antonio) marry another man. He never took the chance and told her how he feels. While drinking his problems away at the bar, a mysterious stranger, Mortimer (Eddie George), gives him a gift in a magical key. Use that key on any door, and it becomes a portal to an alternate reality. Diggsy can walk through to the other reality, but he can never return home.
In Motke Dapp’s sci-fi, romantic drama Another Version of You, Diggsy takes numerous chances to chase the woman that he’s loved since birth—all in hopes of finally finding happiness with her. I’ll start by saying I like this movie, but I had huge reservations right from the start, especially when dealing with alternate realities and chasing obsessions.
“Diggsy can walk through to the other reality, but he can never return home.”
Once you start playing with science and other realities, my brain immediately starts picking apart the logic. Diggsy starts jumping from one timeline to another, and the questions in my head begin. What happens to the other you, when you enter their reality? What happens if you push another person through the door and you shut them out? Don’t you eventually have to stop somewhere, or are you always jumping through time? Isn’t there another person out there who shares your appearance, identity, and DNA? Does the ATM from your reality, work in the new one? Will the next leap finally be the one home?
Surprisingly, Another Version of You actually answers/addresses most of these questions (not the ATM one). Yes, it’s the story of an emotional sad-sack, and every time he walks through a door, he is confronted with different versions of not only his love, Suzette, but of his sister Daphne (Brittany Belland) as well. Their interactions run the gamut of Diggsy and Suzette being married to one another, married to others, complete strangers, and passing acquaintances.
There’s a moment when alternate Daphne sees the “main” Diggsy, only to discover that her version of Diggsy died years before, which sets up a fascinating and satisfying second act, where Diggsy and alternate Daphne travel together through other realities. This is worth the price of admission alone.
As Diggsy travels from door-to-door/reality-to-reality, he ultimately has to stop and fix himself. He’s forced to face his insecurities with every version of Suzette he meets. This is where he meets a barista named Gwyneth played by C.J. Perry (better known as WWE’s Lana), who once dated the hefty Kiril played by Miroslav Barnyashev (better known as WWE’s Rusev). It is this relationship with Gwyneth that helps derail Diggsy’s obsession with Suzette.
“…old stories can be reinvigorated in exciting and ingenious ways, especially when you don’t have the money…”
I said it before, but the moment I started watching Another Version of You, I felt like I was about to go on a very long ride to nowhere. I’m pretty tired of the oft worn-out and confusing alternate reality trope as well as the sad, pathetic man who can’t get the girl. Yes, this film is both of those things, but Motke Dapp’s script is smart and refuses to be lazy. I’ve seen both tropes fail on their own hundreds of times over, and yet, Dapp forces them to work together in an inspiring and exciting way, and that will always get a recommendation from me.
As much as I loved Another Version of You, it’s not without faults. The pacing is a little slow, especially during the self-reflection moments, and the ending is a “feel good” one that could have used a bit more pop to it. But what I think Motke Dapp proves is old stories can be reinvigorated in exciting and ingenious ways, especially when you don’t have the money for over-the-top sci-fi effects. It requires work and risk, and Dapp’s hard work and risk-taking pay off.