June 13, 2019

SCREEN | Just Friends – 'Plus One' Has All the Feels

"If you spend your whole life looking for perfect, you wind up with nothing."
Maya Erskine Jack Quaid Jeff Chan Andrew Rhymer | Plus One

Plus One is a very charming and real feeling indie comedy about two longtime friends becoming more than just friends as they play each other's guest and wingman at various summer weddings. Actors Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid make for a very compelling pair, Alice and Ben, who struggle with their own relationship issues while bonding over mutual experiences.

Written and directed by PEN15 writers Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer, the film somehow manages to evoke both a strong sense of familiarity that's also refreshingly new as both leads give subtle, naturalistic performances while still delivering a lot of standard dialogue fare about modern love.

Chan and Rhymer ground the film's cast with a lot of low-key players who quietly come in to execute their small but important roles with clear comic precision. From SNL cast member Beck Bennett, who continues his recent streak of small but interesting dramatic turns in indie comedies, to veteran Ed Begley Jr. who always makes for a good supporting presence as Ben's well-meaning father, everyone just fits into the revolving wedding weekends over a summer story structure.

Plus One's balance of material and performances are what makes it so endearing as a heightened but authentic enough dramatization of romance. It dives right into the usual themes of jaded single life and loneliness to explore what it means to find and choose to be in a committed relationship.

Erskine and Quaid's playful chemistry really make Plus One such a heartfelt, genuinely affecting, and earnestly funny romantic comedy that plays into the usual conventions in refreshing ways. It wears its rom-com genre formula on its sleeve as a winning depiction of evolving a friendship into a full-fledged relationship.

Plus One is available on various digital platforms and video on demand.


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