Entanglement is a 2018 comedy/drama about a suicidal man who accidentally falls in love with a girl who was very nearly, almost his sister.
Suicide is never funny. However, well, yeah, sometimes it is, at least in the movies. Think of 1985’s Better Off Dead, easily one of the best at doing so, and you can see where I’m headed. With Jason James‘ latest Entanglement, suicide feels funny until it isn’t and becomes the start of a strangely evocative and weirdly existential little journey that does a lot that’s unexpected.
Ben (Thomas Middleditch) is on edge. His life a flailing collage of confusion and misdirection, he decides ending it is his best choice. When a few experiments fail, he eventually gets it right, only to be rescued, sending him on personal mission to discover the roots of why he’s not happy. He even makes a sort of evidence board on his wall complete with yarn and old photos. He then learns that his parents had adopted a baby on the same day his mother became pregnant with him, nullifying the deal. Thinking a sister in his life might have had the influence to make him a better person, he soon finds Hanna (Jess Weixler) and from there, things really begin to spin out of control.
To be honest, Entangled is pretty straight-forward, an Indie rom-com with all the pieces neatly laid end-to-end, quirky and awkward just as it needs to be. However, even as James, and screenwriter Jason Filiatrault layer in many of the standards the genre demand, they fill in the blanks with enough honesty and authenticity to help this find better footing, especially as it continues to veer away from the center. Ben is clearly not well, a fractured figure of deep depression and perhaps much worse. This leads to curious imagery throughout the film that says much if paying attention. From animated wildlife, to a pool full of jellyfish, to a street vendor taking black & white pictures, to a split image in his bathroom mirror and more, themes emerge and we begin to see Ben in an ever-changing and disturbing light.
Mixed in all this is his therapist (Johannah Newmarch) – actually a children’s counselor – who isn’t entirely supportive, and his messed up and divorced parents who aren’t quite connected to their son’s plight. Then there’s Tabby (Diana Bang), Ben’s next door neighbor, a friend who is connected, and much more. She is the keystone to it all and Bang is oh so very good in being so. She is the girl we know very well in movies like this, but does wonderful things with her. Middleditch is equally strong, an actor most notable for his comedy, who takes this opportunity to unravel that perception and show a darker side.
Entangled begins as one thing and ends as another, and as it embraces a recurring thought of ‘just let go’, what springs from the expected is something far different. Yes, the film takes its ‘connected’ premise to great lengths and ends up creating a small world where everyone we meet is in fact so, however, it’s a highly satisfying tangle that earns its ending.
Movie description: ENTANGLEMENT IS A 2018 COMEDY/DRAMA ABOUT A SUICIDAL MAN WHO ACCIDENTALLY FALLS IN LOVE WITH A GIRL WHO WAS VERY NEARLY, ALMOST HIS SISTER.
Director(s): Jason James
Actor(s): Thomas Middleditch, Jess Weixler, Johannah Newmarch
Genre: Comedy, Drama