Saturday, June 25, 2011

Monogamy (2010)

Monogamy (2010)
Monogamy (2010)

Genre: Drama
Director: Dana Adam Shapiro
Starring: Chris Messina, Rashida Jones, Meital Dohan, Zak Orth
Duration: 96 min.
Rating: 5.9

Increasingly anxious about his impending marriage to Nat and thoroughly bored with his day job as a wedding photographer, Theo establishes a hobby: he's hired by clients to clandestinely snap voyeuristic photos of them as they go about their days. Things go smoothly until a sexy exhibitionist leads him into an all-consuming obsession. As Theo stalks her day and night, the woman's mysterious public trysts send him reeling, forcing him to confront uncomfortable truths about his sex life at home.

Monogamy is the debut feature film directed by Dana Adam Shapiro, previously known for his 2005 Academy Award nominated documentary Murderball.  It premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival where it won the award for Best New York Narrative.

Not entirely memorable or powerful, this one plays out like the typical troubled relationship flick.  The soon to be married couple, Theo (Chris Messina) and Nat (Rashida Jones) are fairly well acted and their dialog feels natural, but their characters aren't all that likeable so you never really get drawn into caring about them or their relationship. 

Theo is a wedding photographer with an interesting side job that he calls "Gumshoot", where people hire him to take clandestine photos of themselves going about their daily lives.  As someone who has spent a fair amount of time wandering around and people watching in New York City, this is the aspect of the film I enjoyed the most.  Shapiro's uses his documentary experience to great effect as the cinematography really captures the feeling of being there.  Those sights and sounds of the city along with a cool indie soundtrack featuring tracks from Califone, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and Elbow are the high points of the film.

The problem with having an unlikeable lead in a character film like this is when Theo starts obsessing about his latest client 'Subgirl', or the cracks start to show in his relationship with Nat, or even when he is hanging out with his friends, we don't care, we just want the camera to go back outside for a stroll, chill on a park bench, or take some more pictures.  Ultimately we just want to watch a better film.

 Monogamy (2010)

Monogamy (2010)

Monogamy (2010)

Monogamy (2010)

Monogamy (2010)

Monogamy (2010)

Monogamy (2010)

Monogamy (2010)


Thingamajigblog said...

I think I would watch this...

Moviemonstrosityblog said...

hmm, not convinced

Hoi-Ming Ng said...

If that's how this movie is I will pass on this.

Ala Mode7 said...

I saw this last year with my ex. I wasn't very impressed by it.

d_4 said...

Eh the trailer didn't convince me. You explained more of what was needed to know than the trailer did.. but you didn't make it sound like all that either so, eh. Low expectations. 

Tim B. said...

The title already has me going 'meh', Monogamy? Maybe another time.

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