Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Chris Messina & Rashida Jones in Monogamy

I feel like I’d be doing something wrong if I simply described Monogamy as “a descent into madness”, because while that’s the heart of it, the film is really about so much more.

Theo (Chris Messina, who I love in every single thing I ever see him in, but especially in this), is a photographer engaged to his lovely musician girlfriend, Nat (Rashida Jones, equally at home in this film). Frustrated with his usual wedding photo jobs, he creates Gumshoot – wherein people can hire him to follow them with a camera and capture candid moments. A fine idea, until someone named “subgirl” contacts him to shoot her erotic adventures. As wedding pressures mount, Theo gets drawn further and further into subgirl’s world, confusing fantasy for reality and slowing destroying his relationship with Nat.

Mixing voyeuristic thrill with heartbreaking realism, Director Dana Adam Shapiro has turned out a fascinating exploration of what can happen when we make assumptions about the person we love and the relationships we’re in, and how easily we can destroy ourselves in the process. On top of that, every frame in this thing looks like an artistic photograph, and the soundtrack had me at Hello.

Side note: bring a box of tissues. If you’re anything like me, you’ll lose at least twice during Theo & Dana’s discussions.

{Monogamy screens at SIFF June 9, 7pm and again June 10, 4pm at SIFF Cinema}