Published Apr 04, 2011Just how important is commitment to a relationship? Writer/director Dana Adam Shapiro brilliantly examines the idealistic goal of life-long monogamous relationships set by society's standards in his Tribeca Film Festival hit, which stars up-and-coming actors Chris Messina and Rashida Jones.
Set in Brooklyn, NY, the film begins by instantly deceiving the viewers, introducing happy-go-lucky couple Theo and Nat (played respectively by Messina and Jones), both artistic free spirits. Theo is a photographer who takes on a monotonous day job of shooting weddings to pay the bills and Nat is a rising musician. They are getting married in three months time yet have surprisingly zero interest, or drive, to even pick out the colour of the wedding invitations.
Once Theo's photography side-job (Gumshoot ― where he stalks clients and takes candid pictures off them) takes off, he immediately becomes obsessed by a sexy client's (named "Subgirl") public sexual exhibitions, sending him into a tailspin of negative, confusing emotions about his upcoming nuptials.
In the tradition of Sex, Lies and Videotape, Shapiro captures the brilliance of voyeur cinema while also conveying a brutally honest tale of how relationships really are in your 20s and early 30s.
Although Monogamy isn't a perfect film ― it's tailored to the hipster generation and has scenes full of awkward juxtaposition that may lead viewers to believe they're watching a thriller rather than an independent drama ― it's still a competent character piece that features very strong and astonishingly heart aching performances from Messina and Jones.
Despite the fact that film aficionados will be able to spot the twist ending a mile away, Monogamy isn't likely to be forgotten easily by anyone, or couple, who can relate to being too scared to get out of a far too comfortable relationship. (Kinosmith)