A simple, but highly effective little film a man and a woman who “used” to be in love who meet at a wedding. Using split screens (because there are two sides to every relationship), we get a unique and interesting perspective into what could have been a pedestrian film. It’s more than just a gimmick, as flashbacks or alternatate situations are integrated. I love how their relationship slowly unfolds, and is all at once ordinary and yet exceptional. I truly think they are meant for each other, but along the way things went wrong and their newfound responsibilities make it impossible for them to come back to each other.
Carter and Eckhart are brilliant in the unnamed roles, and are able to convey so much with so little. They are both people who are interesting without being overtly quirky or unreal. The dialogue reveals much about gender and perception associated with the “wisdom” of age. Carter feels much older than Eckhart even though they’re the same age. She is so caught up in age that it almost prevents her from living. This is played into a hilarious, and romantic sequence where Eckhart reveals he’d take care of her in her elderly years (when she turns 40). The film does lose a bit of it’s edge in the final stretch when it becomes heavier, but there is one beautiful scene where Carter is blow drying her hair while Eckhart is in the other room confessing he loves her. She doesn’t hear a word of it. It’s truly a case of true love that’s doomed to be seperated, but in a way much different than the sacrifice in Casablanca. The inclusion of the flashbacks alluding to their previous relationship added a nice sense of depth to their current relationship as we saw both of them as fun, seemingly careless youths and their transformation into more jaded adults.
It’s one of the better films of 2005, and definetely recommended, especially for the romantics. The soundtrack is also great, I especially love the inclusion of Carla Bruni’s L’excessive, one of my favourite songs.