Thursday, September 26, 2013

Between Us: Movie Review

Boring people in uncaring friendships and relationships.
Between Us is a relationship drama. Two thirty-something couples, all friends, have ended up in slightly different places in life, but they are all determined to get through their relationships together. Except, they really don’t care. And that leads us to a pretty insurmountable problem. If they don't care, why should we? In short, we don't. 2012

Directed by: Dan Mirvish

Screenplay by: Joe Hortua, Dan Mirvish

Starring: Julia Stiles, Taye Diggs,
David Harbour and Melissa George

Julia Stiles, Melissa George, David Harbour, and Taye Diggs in a Film Still
The first weekend, Grace (Julia Stiles) and Carlo (Taye Diggs) visit the more successful Joel (David Harbour) and Sharyl (Melissa Joel). What is obvious to everyone else is that Joel and Sharyl are putting up a fake façade to hide their unhappiness. Grace and Carlo are both, simultaneously, unaware of their best friends’ unhappiness and uncaring so much that they don’t care to do anything about it. Except complain. They’re not being perfect enough hosts for their liking. So we have one unhappy couple, two so-called friends, and nobody doing anything about it.

In the future, making it clear that there has been a falling out between these friends, Joel and Sharyl visit Grace and Carlo in their small New York apartment. Joel and Sharyl are still putting up a fake façade, but this time about pretending to like their former friends. Grace doesn’t care. And more than half-way through the film's run-time, the audience has been given nothing to care about.

Julia Stiles, Melissa George, David Harbour, and Taye Diggs in a Film Still
“Between Us” has been compared to Carnage. Both films are driven by dialogue between two couples, but that is where the similarity ends. “Between Us” has no comedy and the characters are so ridiculously boring, that I don’t care about them. And I shouldn’t, they don’t care about themselves or anybody else.

There is supposed to be a thriller element, keeping us in an air of suspense as to why these two couples, and best friends, have had a falling out. But this fails for many reasons: there is nothing interesting about this falling out, and they don’t really act like friends in the first place, so there is no suspense. The closer we get to the end, the farther each character is from happiness. There is a lot of inner turmoil displayed with anguish on all their faces, and nobody is going to do anything about it.

Boring people in uncaring friendships and relationships make “Between Us” a very boring and pointless film. It's supposed to relate to life, the falling out between friends, but movies should take the more interesting elements of life, and these people were never friends in the first place.

Similar Titles:

Carnage (2011) - The carnage left over after a verbal battle of wits.

Drinking Buddies (2013) - The criss-crossing of two relationships by four perfectly matched actors.

3 Nights in the Desert (2014) - A slow, mysterious piece of reflection in the desert.