Tribeca Film Festival: In A Relationship (2018) reviewed by Jonathan Berk

Romantic comedies come out quite frequently, and, admittedly, I’m often a fan. In A Relationship (2018) is a millennial rom-com by director Sam Boyd that takes a look at two stages of a relationship: the beginning and the end. While the film has a few laughs and good characters, it also didn’t stand out too much from other films in the genre.

In a Relationship is an enjoyable film, but also slightly forgettable.

Hallie (Emma Roberts) and Owen (Michael Angarano) are going through a rough patch and the discussion of moving in together only makes things tougher. While this is happening, Matt (Patrick Gibson) is attempting to start a relationship with Hallie’s roommate, Willa (Dree Hemingway). As one relationship is failing another is just beginning and the film explores the ups and downs of love.

Owen and Willa both seem to favor not being overly committed, while Hallie and Matt seem to have more traditional romanticized ideas of love and monogamy. None of the four share the exact same point-of-view though, and this creates many compelling moments. Matt is the nice guy and Willa, who seems to be falling for him, does want to keep him at a distance. Owen and Hallie separate, and both try to move on by finding what they think they need in other people. Boyd manages to show the transition in a variety of comical moments that feels every bit the indie film.

Angarano and Hemingway were the highlights of the film. They delivery many of the jokes, and they each pull them off successfully. Not to discount Roberts or Gibson, though, as they played their roles correctly. However, they don’t get much of the heavy lifting in the comedy department. Angarano and Hemingway’s characters both have the most to learn, and they grow in the context of the story. One scene that Owen really gets to bring the laughs is while he is picking up Matt after finding himself single. Owen has reverted to a bachelor quickly, and has embodied the stereotype by keeping condiments in the car door panel, eating a day old sandwich despite plans to go to lunch, and coming straight from the gym while apparently not showering. The interaction is simple, but Angarano’s performance sells the joke.

Final thoughts…

In A Relationship was completely enjoyable if you are a fan of indie-style romantic comedies. It doesn’t do anything too memorable, but it didn’t have negative elements that stood out, either. The characters are developed and sympathetic enough. In a Relationship earns the Decent Watch rating.

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