I guess I hate this movie with such passion because it uses so many things from movies I actually like. It is a plain patchwork of copied ideas. And what’s even worse: It is a deeply conservative coupling codex movie construction dressed up as ‘lightfooted’ ‘clever’ ‘indie’ ‘rom-com’ that uses ‘cool’ ‘weird’ ‘techniques’. Quotations marks intented. Hey, this movie even has brackets in its title.
The shortest way of putting it is: Imagine Mario Barth tried to copy Nick Hornby. Yes, you are very right to shudder at that thought. Instead of sublety you get cliches, instead of irony you get …. well, failed irony: Mocking abstract art and foreign movies, using ‘bitch’ in the very intro of the movie, using male buddies’ ‘you sound gay’ comments – there would have been lots of moments for irony but they are choked and soon you start to realize: ‘oh my, they might actually mean it…’ Or when the couple goes IKEA shopping – potential, potential but if you want to play with cliches you have to do a little bit more than to just bring them up. Overall this movie is like reinventing the smug 50s conservatism of Doris Day / Rock Hudson movies for today’s indie twentysomethings, only instead of the funny scenes you get whining indie boy machism. While the form, the way of story-telling, all the different techniques, the ‘numbered’ scenes and split-screens are kind of nicely made I have to say without a fresher content they are nothing but random frameworks.
While the overall reception seems to have been very positive there are at least some voices of reason:
Armand Whyte: “It is so annoyingly cute about the smartness of middle-class young white people in love that one quickly realizes it is only about that—not love nor passion” … ” There’s no parity in such malecentered sob-stories; it’s always from the selfrighteous guy’s point of view”