Screenwriter:Doug Archibald & Kristin Archibald
Music:Jes Kramer & Peter De Leon
There is a legendary documentary called Grey Gardens. The fim documents the lives of two women, Big Edie and Little Edie, aunt and cousin of Jackie O, and how they live in a falling-down estate in New York, incredibly co-dependent and broken.
In I Love You Both, twins Crystal and Donny are not quite so intertwined as the Edies, but they're not far from it. They can't seem to make a decision without the other, and they seem to only take comfort in their pairing, or deadening themselves. They're good at that, making themselves numb to the world of emotion, and it shows whenever they are together. Much of the film, it feels as if they are islands in a strange, slow-moving stream; a stream that deposits a guy that both of them fall for.
And doesn't it make total sense that the perfect guy for both of them is the same guy?
I Love You Both is an interesting study in modern dating, though with a decidedly old-fashioned bent. As a guy who spends a lot of his time around polyamory and bi-sexually-varied relationships, the fact that things go down with as much difficulty as they do is a bit stretched, and at the same time, it feels quite natural. A terrible date between our Phantom Stranger Perfect Guy and Crystal seems to make so much sense, not because they're not great for one another (and I read the two of them as just about ideal for one another) but because the attraction is so wrong for her relationship with her emotional symbiote.
That is what got me the most. The fact that they not only seemed to feed off each other, but they seemed to feed themselves TO one another. There's a scene at the end of the film where we see how deeply tied they are, but how much one can hold the other back, either on purpose or by complete accident. It's a powerful scene, and when I re-watched it, I really picked out the little things that made it so powerful. The interactions of the twins with their Mom were also hilarious, and while the rest of the movie is a sort of comedic nihilism, there are some very comical points in those phone calls.
The revelation in this film is the magnetic Kristin Archibald. Her performance powers the film along, and it's never overly-showy or too measured. She hits middle grounds, even when she's put in over-the-top situations where choosing on of those paths would have been easiest. I found myself lingering on her in scenes she shared with every other character because she put out an amazing amount of energy. While there are no weak performances to be found in the film, and Doug Archibald as Donny is really good in particular, Kristin Archibald plays her role exactly as it should be played.
I had twins back in May. They're the light of my world, but we're raising them with an idea in mind: they are two people, and they will live their lives not as halves of a set, but as individuals who are supposed to look after each other. I hope, PRAY, they're not Donny and Crystal. I hope they can each find within themselves the power to be themselves, which is something the fictional pair in I Love You Both have such a hard time with.
I Love You Both shows Friday March 4th at 7pm, Sunday the 6th at 915pm, and Tuesday the 8th at 215pm
Klaus at Gunpoint
A Film Journal dedicated to all film.A segment of Office Supply Publishing.