In a Relationship


Emma Roberts leads a “relationship” driven story that resembles more real-life, genuine problems than a lot of other Hollywood love stories. As the connections between the characters grew deeper or devolved into nothing, the film displays so many relatable actions and a lot of mistakes that happen so many times in the modern dating world. Even though the narrative’s story itself is a little meandering and somewhat nebulous, the Tribeca film is worth a watch.


Owen (Michael Angarano) and Hallie (Emma Roberts) have been together for years, but when Owen wants a break, wavering on Hallie’s proposition to move in together, their lives become radically different. To both their dismay, they find it especially difficult to truly separate given how intertwined their lives have become. Meanwhile, Owen’s best friend Matt (Patrick Gibson) finds himself completely smitten with Hallie’s cousin Willa (Dree Hemingway), and they embark on an unexpected, but promising, romance of their own. Sam Boyd’s relatable dramedy analyzes two polar opposite relationships on the uncharted spectrum of love for twenty year-old millennials during a summer in Los Angeles.


At its core, this film explores the solemn solstice in being forever single. While at times deeply relatable, this is a question movies never want to explore in a serious matter. Of course, the movie has it’s fair share of jokes, but there is ample opportunity for audiences to inquire on whether relationships are really the only way to find happiness. Don’t go in expecting a happy ending or even a clear answer for that matter. Enjoy the travels and the possible relationship goals that you can aspire or reject in your own personal life.


I was more engaged with Matt and Willa’s relationship. It felt fresh yet rung very true in the age of ubers and “hanging out.” Without going too deep, some elements seem utterly ludicrous yet at the same time the same event has likely happened to someone you know. Everyone knows a person that could resemble the astoundingly hipster Jacob, who is rude yet  While Owen and Hallie’s relationship has odd chemistry that works perfectly for the film, it will likely turn off some viewers, especially younger audience members that have never dealt with the stresses of deciding whether to move in together. However, their humor and the winding story that has many unexpected turns will keep people invested. My complaint with this structure is that some of these side stories are not very developed and seem to be included for a punch line or a certain dramatic thread rather than actually further developing our protagonists.


It’s so fascinating to see so many of the common, stereotypes from the romantic comedy genre totally flipped on their head and put to rest. Although the true relatability of the film will end up serving as a double-edged sword. With every high stroke of relationship happiness comes a descending valley that may strike too close a chord to past missteps. Really this is a film that is more dependent on the experiences of the viewer than the narrative itself.


Score: 6.2/10

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Anthony Zangrillo is the President and Owner of the Motion Picture Club. While an undergraduate student at NYU, he founded the Motion Picture Club. At the Fordham University School of Law, he was the Online Editor of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal and started the IPLJ Podcast, which continues recording to this day. You can find him on Instagram: @anthony_mpc.


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