Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer (director)
07 February 2020 (released)
05 February 2020
I’ll admit that the Romcom is an easy target: Its capacity to be cheesy and cloying and a deposit for lazy writing and direction is well deserved. It can at times appear a stale format and unadventurous which is odd as the fundamental core of most of these films are human emotions and conditions in turmoil. As no two people are alike these have endless variations and should be ripe for ideas and innovation.
Plus One tries to something fresh with the format as two best friends seemingly endlessly subjected to friends and family’s weddings, and with each of them having a fair few coming up decide that these events would be best tackled together as each other’s ‘plus one’. Alice (Maya Erskine) has just had a painful breakup and still feeling the effects, is a sharp, no-nonsense woman.
Ben’s (Jack Quaid) best friend has just got married and his other friends appear on the brink to, and he’s contemplating life on the shelf. This is compounded by the news that his already twice married father is looking to tie the knot, again, with a younger woman and children.
Nevertheless Alice and Ben having an established strong friendship and rapport, start off on this wedding quest. It’s a journey that takes them around the country and as is the rule with these situations there are highs and lows in which they find out more about themselves and each other.
Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer’s slick script and direction may bind but they don’t necessarily make a totally successful film. Its sporadically funny with some good gags and sequences – the short wedding toast intros before each wedding has some real nuggets - just not enough for the entire ride. What does provide the entertainment are the central performances from Erskine and Quaid.
They have a natural presence and feel for the characters with Erskine in particular a tour-de-force. Quaid is a little more in the shadow but that’s as much to do with the character than his performance. With the tropes all present Plus One doesn’t steer off-piste or take too many chances and is perfectly enjoyable.