Flicks that jump genres in a single sitting tend not to work well. An even tone is hard to maintain, things can feel bloated and choppy and it frankly takes a skilled filmmaker to pull it off. Thankfully with the new bold and beautiful flick "+1" (I’m calling it "Plus One" here!) both the wonderful mixed story elements and surprisingly poignant direction make the film an exception. It’s a five-star feat that may seem effortless, but given the combine subject matter of being both a frat movie and time travel flick there is something undeniably special going on here.
Three college friends decide to hit a local party and they all certainly need it. David is a lovesick boyfriend who after a momentary indiscretion is looking to make up with his true love, Teddy is a fun-loving guy in search of some long overdue female companionship and Allison is a loner looking for a reason to come out of her shell. All three have their own experiences at the party but stumble onto something strange – things seem to be repeating. Not only that, duplicates of themselves and everyone else are walking around and in a Body Snatchers like panic the three go about both fighting to stay themselves and fixing past wrongs.
It may sound a tad complicated, but the best thing about the direction by helmer Dennis Iliadis is how he makes the impossible possible. Starting from the point of view of a typical raunchy "Porky’s" like party and ending with a thoughtful and questionable "Time Crimes"-esk vision (with a twisted love story thrown in!), Iliadis creates a film that can’t help but capture you. It’s a real accomplishment from the director who brought you the tepid "Last House on the Left" remake (stick to original work from now on Dennis!) and shows the director has a handle on all the colors of the film genre rainbow. (I laughed...and cried!) And his characters may seem like cardboard comedy cutouts at the beginning, but all make such a dramatic and some even disturbingly dark turns that it goes well beyond stereotypes. Plus I must admit I was mesmerized by the performnaces of real-life twin sisters Colleen and Suzanne Dengel as Allison and her suddenly appearing copy – nothing is better then loving yourself.
This is not going to be a film for everyone (even though it amusingly has something for everyone!) as nudity, sex, murder, foul humor and even body sushi tend to throw off the more conservative audience members. But for those who are looking to experience something both familiar and original, "Plus One" is a savory cinematic sampler platter that satisfies.
"PLUS ONE" OPENS IN SELECT THEATRES AND ON DEMAND FRIDAY SEPT. 20 FROM IFC MIDNIGHT.