(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: Plus One
Where You Can Stream It: Hulu
The Pitch: Two friends in their early thirties decide to run the gauntlet of wedding season by being each other’s dates for every wedding, only for them to realize their friendship may be blossoming into something more.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Since we’re still trudging through the middle of an ongoing pandemic, hopefully you have not been to an actual wedding in several months. But if you’re craving the experience, Plus One, like this year’s Palm Springs, gives you the feeling of attending a seemingly endless number of receptions without having to leave your couch – and throwing in a little romance of its own for good measure.
Plus One follows Ben (Jack Quaid) and Alice (Maya Erskine), two friends who met in college and who are now staring down the barrel of attending an absurd number of weddings over the next several weeks and months. As Ben, Quaid is less charming than the movie thinks he is: ultimately, he’s a basic bitch who constantly bails on relationships because he’s hung up on his parents’ divorce. Macro view? He’s fine – a serviceable character serving a necessary function for the story. His arc is extremely predictable, and it occasionally feels like the film is going through the motions to hit expected plot beats. There’s not much of a spark to him.
Thankfully, Alice is a total wild card – and the real reason to watch this film. Erskine, who is amazing on the great Hulu comedy series Pen15, doesn’t ever reach quite the heights of physical comedy in Plus One that she achieves on that show, but she’s the comic focal point of this movie. She’s like a Tasmanian devil, drunkenly buzzing her way through low-level antics and leaving laughs in her wake. She’s also able to play her real age in this movie (she plays a junior high student in Pen15), and this script gives her the opportunity to show off some more of her dramatic range. Listen up, Hollywood: put this woman in everything. The entertainment world needs more of Maya Erskine in it.
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