I only saw the trailer maybe once before this week, so I can’t say much. Hell, if I didn’t check my theaters, I wouldn’t have even remembered that this movie existed. Oh well. It’s here and I have a soft spot for rom-coms.
The story looks like it’s about a trio of couples that are going through their own crises in their respective marriages and end up getting help… I think… from a woman who is less than enthusiastic about marriage. I think I’m way off, but that’s all I really took away from the trailer.
Here’s the ensemble cast. Starring, writing, and directing this project is Lake Bell, known for THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (2016), NO ESCAPE (2015), NO STRINGS ATTACHED (2011), and the upcoming HOME AGAIN (2017). She also wrote, directed, and starred in IN A WORLD… (2013). Alongside her, we have Ed Helms (CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS , VACATION , THE HANGOVER , and the upcoming TAG ), Amber Heard (THE DANISH GIRL , THE RUM DIARIES , ZOMBIELAND , and upcoming films JUSTICE LEAGUE  and AQUAMAN ), Mary Steenburgen (DEAN , THE PROPOSAL , and POWDER ), Paul Reiser (THE LITTLE HOURS , ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S , and ALIENS ), and Dolly Wells (BRIDGET JONES’S BABY , 45 YEARS , and BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY ).
Now for the crew. Composing the score is Dexter Story, known for a bunch of unknown projects, and the cinematographer is Wyatt Garfield, known for BEATRIZ AT DINNER (2017).
Overall, I’m more than a little curious to see this. Not overly excited for anything, but it looks pretty fun.
This is my honest opinion of: I DO… UNTIL I DON’T
The story follows Alice (Lake Bell), who is… semi-happily married to her husband Noah (Ed Helms). Alice desperately tries to get involved with a documentarian named Vivian (Dolly Wells) who is making a documentary about the limitations and impracticality of marriage. The two of them are also incredibly financially unstable and Alice was hoping to be compensated for her participation in the film, like Vivian’s other participants, but when this doesn’t become the case, she resorts to looking for ways to make the promised money and make ends meet, while keeping her lie a secret. The story also follows an older couple and their crippled, marriage, and Alice’s younger hippie sister and her relationship with her mate.
Sadly, it’s very flawed. With that said, I don’t hate it. In fact, I like it, but even I can’t look at these negative reviews and truly argue. What’s wrong with it? Missed opportunity. While I like that this movie is a through-and-through celebration of marriage, even its hardships, it isn’t something that hasn’t really been done before. It basically follows three sets of couples: Alice and Noah, Cybill (Mary Steenburgen) and Harvey (Paul Reiser), and Fanny (Amber Heard) and Zander (Wyatt Cenac). The primary fix is to focus on any of the aforementioned couples, instead of the whole group.
Cybill and Harvey: they’re a legitimately cute-yet-troubled married couple. Their relationship isn’t anything spectacular, but it’s effective enough and has a strong, smile-inducing resolution. How does a constantly bickering couple on the verge of separation keep bouncing back into form? This could have been explored and something nice come out of it.
Fanny and Zander are a young hippie couple that don’t want to get married and don’t even really believe in monogamy, so they sleep with other people, but remain committed to each other. But as the story progresses, we see Zander getting jealous of the attention that Fanny gets and the special feelings he has for her, he doesn’t want to share it with another woman. Again, there’s something to explore there.
And now for the most impactful storyline, and arguably the one I have the most problems with, Alice and Noah. They’re having a hard time financially, but Noah’s pushing the idea of having a baby together, but Alice doesn’t really want one, but hasn’t told Noah. Their story alone merited more attention than the others because you have a married couple of seven years, one wants to be a parent, the other doesn’t. That’s a pretty big deal as far as a functioning relationship is concerned, but it’s not properly explored in the movie. The big reveal is that Alice doesn’t want a baby, but really, that should be whole plot right there.
Let’s get personal for a bit here. For me, I know I want to get married and be a father someday. So I know when I start dating someone and it gets serious, one of the first things I’d want to know before committing too much time and effort into our relationship is knowing if she wants to get married and have kids too. If the she doesn’t want one or the other, then I move on. That’s what dating’s for, after all: a test of compatibility. Now, I’m in no hurry to get married, or have kids, if I find a woman who has similar interests in the future, but it’s important to know if the options are in the cards. Alice and Noah dated for x-amount of time and were married for seven years. Have they never sat down and discussed kids while they were dating, let alone married? I honestly don’t know how that’s possible. But fine, the whole point of the movie could have been this reveal alone, that Alice doesn’t want kids, and how something that is essentially a deal breaker, doesn’t destroy the relationship. It could have been a poignant look into what a person could be missing out on if they sacrificed that desire for the significant other, or what the significant other could be sacrificing if they did something they didn’t want to do. Either way, showcase a smart perspective on an issue like this and how the couple can still make their marriage work. Sadly though, that’s not what this movie does. It’s just, financial problems and nervousness about bringing a baby into this world with no stability. Alice and Noah’s story isn’t pushed far enough.
It’s kind of a shame that this story is so bland because everything else isn’t bad. The actors have great chemistry, there is some wonderfully funny situational comedy, and Bell is such a charismatic actor with incredible expressions that I really want to see more from her. She obviously can act, and has great potential as a filmmaker, which she’s also proven with her previous work, so… keep going! Make another movie, miss Bell. I want to see what else she’s got and to see how she can push her talents and really do something special. I’m sure ready for more. But as a whole, the movie is, objectively speaking, not very good. But I don’t dislike it, not by a long shot. Average it out, I say it’s okay. If you’re a rom-com type person, you’ll likely enjoy this just fine. It’s a fair enough date movie. But if you’re an opinionated bloke looking for the next IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934), this is definitely not it.
My honest rating for I DO… UNTIL I DON’T: 3/5