Is it possible to be happy with only one woman? This is the totally legitimate question posed by Monogamy, a film adaptation of many a 20-year-old man’s life.
Theo (Chris Messina) is a wedding photographer who is engaged to Nat (Rashida Jones). His side job is called Gumshoot – a pretty cool idea, actually. He gets hired by people to take their portrait during their daily lives. He’ll stalk them like a private detective, except the client is also the subject.
Well anyway, a fancy lady hires Theo and he becomes infatuated, then obsessed. Meanwhile Nat, his guitar-playing fiancee, winds up in the hospital with to a staph infection. Can their relationship survive?
Isis and I sat through this movie wondering if we were supposed to sympathize with a whiny, mopey hipster in Brooklyn who is sad because he has to marry Rashida Jones. Seriously dude? Does the fact that you only get to pick one woman – one foxy, talented, loving woman – really kill your buzz?
I would like to think the filmmakers made this as a joke on all the idiotic guys who can’t commit. The tip-off is Rashida. Maybe if the only woman Theo could get was ugly and criminally deranged, he’d have a case for keeping an eye out for someone better. But to cast Rashida, and not make her a psychopath or a racist or something, means this guy doesn’t deserve to be happy.
More interesting and unique would have been the story from Nat’s perspective. Women are generally depicted in movies as marriage-loving innocents. What if she struggled with the idea of being faithful? They’d also have to make Theo a better person, otherwise Nat’s choice would be too easy.
Although I can’t recommend Monogamy based on story, the cinematography is very pretty, and the two leads do the best they can with what they have been given. One hopes both actors will find projects worthy of their talents. In the meantime, look out for the Broadway production of Monogamy! The Musical. With songs by Zombie Cole Porter and set design by Zombie Edward Gorey, Monogamy! The Musical will be a treat for anyone who has had trouble staying faithful to their spouse.