Dave (Ross McCall) is thinking of breaking up with his girlfriend Carrie (Joelle Carter), despite not really having a good reason to do so other than a fear of truly committing to the relationship. His brain, full of his conflicting personality traits (acted out by Beth Littleford, Erick Avari, Ary Katz, Daniel Berson, Alex Petrovich and Jake Elliott), try to help him with his decision as they argue different points. When he finally does decide to break up with Carrie, we begin to also see her group of conflicting personality traits (acted out by Vivica A. Fox, Jessica York, Darin Heames, Abby Miller and Alina Foley) as she deals and copes with the event. As the film moves along post-break-up, Dave, Carrie and their brains work through the aftermath, and where that will ultimately lead their lives.
For all the novelty surrounding Nathan Ives’s feature film It’s Not You, It’s Me, it’s a pretty standard tale of break-up and aftermath. Sure, we get to spend a lengthy amount of time with the conflicting voices in both Dave and Carrie’s heads as they head up, through and over the break-up, but that concept expands the film more than it drives it forward. What we’ve really got is a pretty short narrative tale that takes longer to get through because we run each action by the mental peanut gallery first.
Which is my main issue with the film, in that it feels like there’s no forward momentum to what is going on. While I have nothing against a simple tale about a break-up and what comes after, I expect there to be more to it if it’s to be a feature film. And by more, I don’t mean seeing simple decisions and actions commented on over and over by different personality traits.
I mean, in real life, sure, it happens, but it happens in almost a timeless way. We can run through scenarios and lifetimes in our heads in the blink of an eye, but when we personify it for the camera, everything has to slow down to normal time. Conversations linger, actions and decisions are delayed and… the film just sits there.
And I guess that could be fine if the personality groups held your attention more than they do, but they’re hindered by the concept itself because, while most of them are good actors, they’re individually being asked to focus on a single trait or personality. Thus, they’re each one-note by design, and their performance choices become predictable and repetitious. But you can’t fault them; they’re not supposed to be full of complicated personality layers, because they are personifying a single layer themselves.
To be honest, it doesn’t help that I’ve seen this concept of multiple, conflicting personalities working through decisions and actions before. In the last year (or two), I remember seeing a short film running the idea of a first date through this concept; it worked predominantly because it was a short film, and was done before it could get old. Before that, if we want to dip into TV, we’ve got Herman’s Head. There are other examples, though for whatever reason those two were the first that popped into my mind.
That’s not to say no film or project can ever use this concept again, just that, because it’s been done before, it either needs to bring something different, or do and say something truly incredible. I don’t think it does either. I think the film is fine for what it is, but it’s not something I would watch again.
All that said, however, it is a well-shot film, and the acting is solid. I think the filmmakers achieved the film they wanted to achieve, it’s just not a film that I liked; I wouldn’t necessarily classify this one as a bad film, just one that didn’t connect with me. It’s technically sound, just lacking something to keep it from becoming tedious and repetitive. Again, everyone does a good job in their roles, It’s Not You, It’s Me just felt like a very simple story that took far too long to get through.
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