“It’s Not You, It’s Me,” from Mule Films, brings to the screen a truly engaging, charming, romantic comedy that may just silence those nagging voices that prevent real intimacy and commitment.
Directed and written by Nathan Ives, “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” stars Ross McCall and Joelle Carter, as Dave and Carrie, the perfect couple, with two years of dating they’re taking their relationship to the next level which, as we see, is open to gender interpretation.
“It’s Not You, It’s Me,” begins with a series of relationship snapshots of Carrie and Dave, building memories, at the carnival, the beach, in the mountains, watching sunsets.
Which is how “It’s Not You, It’s Me” opens. We meet Dave at the checkout counter of a local café, unable to make a decision even for coffee. He is plagued by the inability to commit to even the simplest tasks.
Our two main characters, Dave and Carrie, are driven by the personalities Freudians believe are housed in all minds. We‘re slowly introduced to their support system: The narcissist; the masculine and feminine sides, as well as the child and neurotic that seem to live in all of us.
Traveling through the male alter ego we meet, Sandy played by Beth Littleford, the feminine reasonable side to Dave who tries desperately to find the best strategy that will defuse all tension and let him scoot out of every situation without an explanation.
Hidden deep within Dave’s brain is Neil, played by Ary Katz, the male stud who in not so subtle language explains what every man is thinking; Dave, as a child of divorce is also led by Billy, the child who longs for the love of his parents played by Jake Elliott. The accountant, Andrew, played by Alex Petrovitch, preaching financial security with every penny spent; Lee who believes death is the next step played by Daniel Berson and Cedrick, the odds maker, played by Erick Avari.
The inability to commit becomes a through line as Dave is now in the second year of what seems like the right relationship. He talks to himself through, with the accompanying voices the impending break up.
Getting through dinner, they begin what apparently is the ritual, dinner, talking, seduction leading to dessert.
Up until this point we’ve only met the “voices” in his head that seem to be coaching him throughout the seduction into the break up each offering different scenarios that allow him to get off the hook and have a little nooky too.
As he begins the “It’s not you, It’s me” speech, we meet the voices of counsel in Carrie’s head led by strong dominating, ‘oh no you didn’t’ Gina played by Vivica A. Fox whom leads the charge to keep him around even for the momentary pleasure, which seems is all that is left.
Carrie’s alter ego also includes Leslie, the physically fit, ticking clock, played by Jessica York; Phoebe, the child who can always do better and wonders if she’s pretty enough, played by Alina Foley and Ben, the hippie “Chakra Aware” masculine side, played by Darin Heames and Tracy, the straight jacketed neurotic played by Abby Miller all of whom are giving advice on methods to keep Dave around hoping the sexual manipulation will be the anchor for more time to reprogram his thinking.
The break-up of Dave and Carrie happens very early in the film and the rest of the film deals with the realities of life after. Initially, Carrie goes about cleaning him out of her life, packing his clothes, leftovers, and hoping to jar his memory of the good times, calls him to pick up his personal belongings. Still stung by his rejection she refuses when he attempts to seduce her into a one more for old times’ sake ritual.
This is where “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” moves into the trenches of post relationship into mourning the loss, positive and negative quick emotional fixes, solid decisions on what one wants, will compromise on, needs and desires.
Maggie Wheeler, for those who remember Janis on the long lived sitcom “Friends,” shows up as the Dr. Clark, the psychologist.
As the psychologist she actually dispenses sound wisdom, solid advice which momentarily silences his “support system” as Dave is actually attempting to get past those issues that keep him from moving forward.
During these sessions he begins to understand relationships are an all in adventure that comes with risk; fear and other incapacitating emotions are discussed lightly as the film dispenses “authentic” wisdom and not lip service verbiage.
“It’s Not You, It’s Me” is genuinely funny, engaging with resonating truth as the couple copes with the ups and downs of the break up, reactions, the alter egos personified, even the counseling.
“It’s Not You, It’s Me” doesn’t sugar coat real issues and behaviors. I want to say it would be a good first date film, although with the break up scenes, and the subsequent post relationship carnage, it may be a bit much for date one.
The ten supporting characters that bring life to the voices provide real comedy and humor into the thought and decision making process for both sexes. The first ten minutes into our main characters commitment malady makes you wonder if all are plagued by the same.
With the revolving box office door, and all the competing screens, Hulu, VOD, DVD, it seems impossible to hold a sleeper film with potential for a solid run like “It’s Not You, It’s Me” allowing it the time to grow the legs its needs to have the theatrical success it deserves.
“It’s not You, It’s Me” is a nice double-sided relationship film, entertaining and appealing with solid insight.
“It’s Not You, It’s Me” is certainly worthy of that late night, well we’ve seen everything else, choice for the box office undecided.
“It’s Not You, It’s Me” opens nationwide Friday, October 4, 2013.