‘Untogether’ can be described as a film that’s, by several degrees, uninteresting, unrelatable, and almost unwatchable. However, the word ‘almost’ is important to remember here. After sitting through the first scene, a scene that has Dornan’s ‘Nick’ asking if he can complete his act of lovemaking in the face of Jemima Kirke’s ‘Andrea,’ I expected to ultimately like it less than I did. Her response, by the way, made it clear she didn’t know him enough for that action to occur… just yet. I’m not going to tell you that I liked the movie but rather summarize it by saying it does succeed in being unique. However, it’s the struggle for that uniqueness that also made it so frustrating to watch. Instead of taking the audience down a more structured path, the storyline was all over the place. What could have been flagged a triumph of a directorial debut for Emma Forrest, who also wrote the script, will instead be considered a veritable disaster.
With Emma Forrest’s script, we’re given small flashes into several dysfunctional lives that aren’t defined enough to care anything about. It’s as if she’s telling a well-guarded secret but still trying desperately to hide it from her audience. By the time we learn what she’s kept hidden from us, it may be too late. We may have already developed some animosity for the way she controlled the flow of information and decided we’re not going to like the film. If you stick it out, it’s only to see how everything works out for Andrea but not necessarily because of any clearly defined genius on the behalf of the filmmaker. Yes. That’s a win for her writing because there are glimpses of reflection and deep contemplation with Andrea, but the real reason to stay is for the acting. Actresses and real-life sisters, Jemima Kirke and Lola Kirke, are magnetic and unforgettable.
We follow the friends-with-benefits relationship of Andrea, a writer who recently met (and enjoys time and sex with) Nick, the writer of a popular memoir. She’s attempting to get to know him better because he makes her feel safe. With the dispirited and dismal dialogue they share and the degrading sex they have, I can’t fathom Andrea being interested long… maybe he’s a phase. She’s young and excitable and, I’m happy to report, does eventually school Nick about how to love ‘em and leave ‘em. Using his celebrity, he likes to go through women as if they’re used tissue but he finds Andrea rather difficult to let go of. His character couldn’t get more self-centered and shallow, so he becomes shaken when she doesn’t play along like the others. Once you get to know her character, you revel in her strength and can’t believe she’d want anyone like him. Did she lose a bet? As I’ve mentioned, to his face there are times when she refuses to feed his narcissism, but when he’s not around, she can’t get the hot mess out of her head.
The set-up for her sister Tara (Lola) is bleak. So much so that it’s hardly worth mentioning. She’s with Ben (Mendelsohn), who worships her every move but instead desires David (Crystal), a rabbi who came into her spa for a massage. I feel compelled to mention that an unrecognizable Jennifer Grey plays his jealous wife, Josie. She too is a character this movie could have done without.
If you’d like to see competent actors deliver some thought-provoking and provocative lines of dialogue, it’ll take some patience on your part, but the movie will deliver on this front. You might want to watch this because you can’t fight the urge to see Dornan. If this is the case, you’ll be sad to learn that he covers his face with a thick beard that not only hides his beauty but doesn’t fit the character. He mumbles throughout the movie, as well, so I must congratulate Forrest on her choice of hiring the Kirke sisters. They save the film. At least she got things right with some of the casting.
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