IN A RELATIONSHIP – A Review by Cynthia Flores
In social media, the term “In a relationship” defines the romantic status of a person. In this feature film debut In A Relationship by writer-director Sam Boyd, we get to actually see the progression of two love stories over a three-month period of time in Los Angeles.
In July, we meet long-term couple Owen (Michael Angarano) who is restless in the relationship he has with Hallie (Emma Roberts) who has been committed to this man one-hundred percent since they first met in New York five years before. Just as their relationship reaches a turning point at the question of moving in together or not a new relationship is blooming. That of Matt (Patrick Gibson), Owen’s best friend and Hallie’s beautiful and aloof cousin Willa (Dree Hemingway) who has moved to LA from NYC to go to school. Hallie thinks Willa will eat Matt alive but does her best to stay out of it even when her cousin becomes her new roommate.
In August, we see Owen and Hallie dealing with the “time off” Owen requested very differently. He’s sleeping and eating his way through his new-found freedom, and she is trying to mend her broken heart and deal with the idea that she was in their relationship for the long run and Owen wasn’t. Matt and Willa are enjoying the newness of their romance. Willa is still keeping it superficial, and Matt is the one totally into them as a couple and falling in love. It’s painful to see Matt, who’s a really good guy being led on by Willa who doesn’t even want to call what they are doing dating so much as just “Hanging out” with him. All the while she’s texting an ex-lover named Jacob that moved to LA as well.
Spoiler Alert*** In September, we see Owen now lonely and regretting his decision to break up with Hallie. His realization that he messed up coming too late as she has come into her own. She has slept with both men and women and realized that she had loved Owen more than he ever loved her from the beginning and that it’s time to move on. So this relationship comes to its natural conclusion as Matt and Willa play out their story. Willa doesn’t really want the nice guy Matt because she’s still hung up on bad boy Jacob. Matt finally realizes that he’s worthy of being treated better than Willa is able to and he walks away from it rather than continue to be played for a fool. **End of Spoiler.
In A Relationship is an independent film with a lot of heart. It's a new take on the twenty-something romantic comedy. The writing is not overly smart and cloying or too hip for its own good. The editing is not fast-paced and set to a hit song. It doesn't just go for the laughs it actually shows some real depth in dissecting what being in a long-term relationship is all about. The story is very natural and a lot of people will see relationships that they've been in when they were younger reflected in these two couples. It’s a perfect date night film because it will have you talking about it well after the credits have rolled. I give this film a solid B+ rating.
Directed by Sam Boyd
Written By Sam Boyd
Running Time 1hr 32min
Comedy / Drama
Limited Release November 9th AMC Grapevine Milles
Starring: Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Dree Hemingway, Patrick Gibson, Greta Lee
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.