Plot: Alice (Maya Erskine) and Ben (Jack Quaid) have been friends since college, but that friendship is about to be tested like never before. Ben has some serious commitment issues, which sabotages all of his relationships, while Alice has just broken up with her unfaithful boyfriend. As the two prepare for a veritable tidal wave of weddings for their family and friends, they decide to make a pact and go with each other. After all, a single wedding can be a horrible experience, let alone a parade of ceremonies like this, so they can help each other survive and maybe even have a little fun. As Alice copes with her break up and Ben learns his father is about to remarry, can even their friendship help get the two through these weddings?
Entertainment Value: This movie has a little more attitude than most romantic comedies, but in the end, feels right at home in the genre and will likely appeal most to that fan base. Plus One is a little more bold and colorful perhaps, but the narrative is classic romantic comedy stuff. That means predictable of course, but the journey is at least a fun one at times and while not always hilarious, the movie does provide a good amount of laughs. I think it works best when it focuses on Alice and Ben, rather than the side threads that creep in, which tend to slow the pace. I can see why Ben’s family was given so much time, but it does little to add to the narrative and in the end, just feels like filler. A more efficient approach to that thread alone could have worked wonders, as I like Ed Begley, Jr., but the saccharine, overly formulaic father/son story weighs down the entire movie. But the Alice and Ben sections are most of the movie and those work quite well, thanks to good chemistry and a good script. The dialogue shines here at times, especially from Alice, who is brought to life with immense skill by Maya Erskine, the movie’s show stealer. Even if you don’t typically like romantic comedies, you might appreciate the darker, more mature approach Plus One has, but I still think romantic comedy junkies will get the most out of this one.
The snappy dialogue is one of Plus One’s strongest qualities and man, does Maya Erskine know how to handle snappy dialogue. She totally shines here and gives us one of the more memorable romantic comedy characters in recent years, as Alice is sharp, direct, and above all else, hilarious. Her acidic attitude is so much fun, but she also always remains likable and you want to see her happy, which is not an easy task, even in a predictable movie like this. I don’t normally get invested in romantic comedies, but I wanted to see Alice get a happy ending and that is a testament to Erskine, who really runs with the material. Jack Quaid is solid as well, but he tends to get less of the light in this case, as Erskine is just so good. He’s also not nearly as likable and kind of a douche, which doesn’t help matters. But his performance is competent and he has good banter chemistry with Erskine, which is important. The cast also includes Ed Begley, Jr., Kiersten Armstrong, and Jennifer Bartels.
The Disc: RLJE Films released Plus One on Blu-ray and as expected, it looks super sharp and clean, as it should, given that it is a new release and all. The detail level is impressive and the image shows good depth, while colors are natural and bright. The movie doesn’t have a dynamic visual design, but it looks great in this treatment. The extras include some deleted & extended scenes.