Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
Like most indie movies, Between Us seems either written for one niche demographic or just made to please its creator. For with its musing and how the relationship between Diane and Henry progresses, surely this movie wasn’t made for your entertainment, pleasure, and consumption.
Diane (Olivia Thirlby) | Henry (Ben Feldman) | Veronica (Analeigh Tipton) | Liam (Adam Goldberg)
Characters & Storyline
After a certain amount of time, some things are just expected. You move in together, you get married, you have kids. You stop only doing things when they are convenient and you learn to compromise, you learn to take the other person’s dreams and aspirations seriously. All that is hard to do at any age, but in your 20s, maybe early 30s? It’s hard to differentiate compromise from settling. So Diane and Henry go through the motions and try to be what others expect, perhaps what they expect from each other. But then there is Veronica and Liam. There is temptation and possibility. Leaving you to wonder that when things get hard will they hold on tight, bring each other in closer, or push each other into another’s arms to find the comfort expected from their spouse?
Things To Note
This film does contain Thirlby and Feldman smacking each other, but not to the extent of a trigger warning.
Don’t make me feel bad for liking something just because you can’t afford it.
— Between Us
You’re out there imagining your dick inside every woman, running around like a horny dog. That’s why you’re never calm. I never see men as penises. I see them in the street and I imagine what life would be with them. If it would be more exciting or fun or interesting and that’s what turns me on and then I think about having sex with them.
— Between Us
They Seemed Cuter With Other People Than Together
It’s easy to get used to romance films being about people finding one another, getting together, working through their problems, and a happy ending. Yet, it can’t always be like that. Reality isn’t that scripted, no matter how many TV shows may lead some to think otherwise. Relationships are messy. A person who has spent their whole life without you now has to make room for you, compromise and change pieces of themselves just to make you comfortable. Then, in return, they expect the same. They aren’t guaranteed the same but expect it. That’s hard.
So, naturally, when things get hard, you take inventory of what can you discard to make life easier? Do you change jobs, maybe eat something which makes you feel better, drink, hang out with friends, cut friends loose, or look toward your spouse/ partner? They can be the source of great joy or pain and with that you got to really think are they worth spending, or losing, the next ten years of your life. Especially when you are young, still in some mindset of being in your prime, and always possibly turning down better opportunities because you picked this one and decided to stay loyal to them.
Something which is a constant issue with Diane and Henry and helps us understand why they stray. For the grass always seems greener on the other side when you didn’t have to work for its vibrancy. Making it where when both Diane and Henry find other people, for the first time in the movie, they seem likable, interesting, and like people you may want to learn about. As opposed to when they are together and you feel like you’re suffering as much as they are.
The Conversations on Materialism and The Whining
Again, life is hard. That is understood, however, the conversations in this movie dealing with Henry feelings financially insecure and then being anti-materialism didn’t make him sound smart or anything like that, it just sounded like whining. To the point, as the quote above states, it’s like he low-key wants to have Diane not desire nice things because then, like their relationship, he’ll have to actually put in work to maintain it.
It Never Gets Good
There is no selling point here. While Diane and Henry seem like happier people when not with their long term partner, it doesn’t suddenly make you interested in them as people. Also, despite these voice overs which make it sound like they are in couples therapy, you aren’t given any real reason to be invested in their relationship. There is nothing cute about the way they look at each other, interact with each other, and you question what really attracted them to one another in the first place.
Then when they get the temptation to cheat, you are still given no reason to lose your indifference because these new people aren’t that interesting. They don’t bring out something which makes Diane or Henry likable, they just further prove those two likely are not meant to be. No matter how things may seem to their family members.
Overall: Negative (Skip It)
You’ll spend most of the movie listening to Henry, and sometimes Diane, trying to sound like their relationship doesn’t have to fit the norm as they decide to just go along with expectations. You’ll spend most of the movie feeling like you are watching two boring hipsters who aren’t in a relationship because they love each other but simply they don’t have the guts to say they are unhappy and want to break up. Then they fight and see other people and the movie comes alive finally. Yet, it never reaches a point where it becomes actually enjoyable. It remains in this realm of feeling made for a niche or is someone’s own ramblings scripted into a conversation between a few characters. Making every character forgettable, you out of however much you paid and kind of wanting to listen to the actors be interviewed about what drew them to this movie so you could understand its appeal. For what was sold in the trailer this movie sure as hell is not.