A romantic comedy that might just be a gentle way into 2020, here’s our review of Plus One.
This is a film that may just be the perfect one to start the year with, particularly for those who are lovesick or love adjacent. Or for those who just love, well, love. But not because it’s cheesy or sickly sweet. In fact, this is the perfect antidote to the overload of sentiment the festive season provides. Granted, it’s a boy meets girl movie. Yes, there are lots of weddings. True, it may tread a slightly predictable and well-trodden path. But it does it so well.
Alice (Erksine) and Ben (Quaid) are friends who are both single, at an age where all their friends are getting married. When the ‘love marathon’ that is wedding season kicks off, they decide that they’ll be each other’s plus ones to all the many weddings they’ve collectively been invited to. The reasoning being that they can keep each other company whilst also increasing their respective ‘exposure to relationship opportunities’. You can probably guess where it goes from there. But what you probably haven’t anticipated is how delightful and cliché-free that journey is.
Favouring an ellipsis narrative, we only see the pair together at the various weddings they’ve been invited to. We see how their long-term friendship is already established at the start of the year and follow them as it slowly starts to alter and shift – when sparks start to fly. We know they’re perfect for each other, their friends do to – but how long will it take them? It’s a journey that’s a real joy to watch.
Alice and Ben feel like incredibly real characters, slightly flawed figures with good hearts and well-meaning intent who could so easily be our friends. They have excellent chemistry, and their rapport is rather enviable in its ease and depth. Their conversations, and those they have with their friends and fellow wedding guests, live and breathe like real conversations – with a mix of both the mundane and the profound on relationships and matters of the heart. It’s all so relatable that it feels almost real, like we’re watching an actual relationship unfurl, with love blossoming in the most unexpected of times and places.
With a running time of 99 minutes, Plus One is a charming and delightful take on the romcom. A refreshing and spirited sorbet to the many saccharine movies that pop up around this time of year.
Plus One is released on February 7th in the UK.
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