Review: PLUS ONE Is A Witty And Fun Rom-Com

FIRST IMPRESSION

Despite a predictable and often conventional script, Plus One manages to be charming and funny thanks to witty humor and good acting.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Plus One is a new romantic comedy film written and directed by Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer. The movie follows two longtime friends who, both single, decide to be each other’s plus one at the many weddings they have coming up over the course of a season. It debuted at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

This film’s story isn’t anything particularly new or unique — it’s really just a combination of different tropes of the rom-com genre — but it is effective and entertaining nonetheless, working quite well because of the character development and excellent chemistry between the two stars. There is definitely a lot of predictability given that the movie isn’t super original, but there is also plenty to enjoy.

The best part of the film is certainly the character development. Alice and Ben are both compelling characters, and the relationship they have together is very sympathetic, if a bit telegraphed at times. Their actions can sometimes be frustrating, but they also ground the movie with a level of reality.

The acting in the film also goes a long way in making it more enjoyable. Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid light up the screen together. The movie is at its best when it allows them to bounce off of each other comedically. Additionally, the film has a strong supporting cast containing plenty of memorable bit parts, including turns from Ed Begley Jr., Jon Bass, Beck Bennett, and Finn Wittrock.

plus one stand
(L-R) Maya Erskine as Alice
and Jack Quaid as Ben in the romantic comedy “PLUS ONE,” an RLJE Films release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films.

There is plenty of humor to be had in the movie’s scenario, as it places the characters into one awkwardly funny situation after another. The laughs aren’t quite non-stop, but they are frequent and of a high enough quality to keep you entertained. Some of the funniest parts of the film are those in which we get to see the speeches given by the best men and maids of honor at the weddings.

That said, the movie isn’t a hit on all levels. The pacing of the film is somewhat inconsistent. Although the runtime is quite short, the movie ultimately feels slightly longer than it is because of a middle section that drags. The first act of the film is certainly the funniest and most refreshing, so when the movie goes into heavily trodden territory in the second act, it isn’t quite as good.

On a technical level, the film was mostly strong. In an indie comedy like this, the execution is all about timing. How long should a shot be held for maximum comedic impact? How often do cuts need to occur to give the conversation momentum? This movie really nails those aspects, elevating the script even further.

Overall, Plus One was a funny romantic comedy. Although it may not have the most unique or original story and its middle portion is a tad slow, the film does exactly what you would expect and hope for from a movie like this.

Plus One hits theaters and VOD on June 14.

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Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

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