When player Tommy (Ian Novick) comes across former college bud Daniel (Jon Prescott) in a bar one night, he knows it will be about three beers until he gets lucky. Engaged to a woman and in the closet, Daniel regrets sleeping with Tommy, but not enough so that he keeps Tommy from manipulating him into awkward and isolated situations where they end up in bed together again and again. Meanwhile, Daniel’s delightful and oblivious fiancée Jen (Margaret Anne Florence) suspects nothing.
It would seem like the perfect situation, until Tommy begins to fall for Daniel. The one that got away is slowly becoming “the one”. An anxious push pull develops between the men as both struggle to get what he wants and still do the right thing out of respect for his lover’s choices. Once married, Daniel becomes increasingly uncomfortable with Tommy and Jen’s growing friendship – jealous even. Meanwhile Tommy grows resentful at Daniel gets to have it both ways.
Once Jen finally finds out, the film takes another unexpected and decidedly dramatic turn.
This story starts out strong and playful, but begins to meander midway. And that loss of focus happens right at the moment the point of view shifts from Tommy to Daniel. The film shifts point of view more than once. It is an interesting choice, but the shift does not give us any new insight on the character’s perspective. No character becomes any more or less sympathetic, so why the switch? Anthology stories are good, but in a cast so small, and within the same storyline, the shift make it’s hard to pinpoint exactly who this film is supposed to be about. Who are we rooting for, or rather, whose happiness is most important to the storyteller?
The tone shifts as well. The film begins as a catty comedy about a club boy who pursues the hot straight jock of his youth. It morphs into a coming-out dramedy about a guy who falls in love with the first man he sleeps with, but can’t come to terms with the fact that he’s gay. It ends as a drama about a young family grappling with the emotional obstacles of doing what society dictates they are suppose to do over being true to oneself.
Director Caytha Jentis has assembled a very likable and competent cast for this story of three people’s journey to finding and accepting their true identity. While the rendering of the story is a bit unbalanced, the story itself is quite credible and timely. This is easily a situation that is probably happening quite often these days. Although, the ending does kind of broadside you.
Despite the tone shifting, The One is solid film with good performances. High marks to Margaret Anne Florence for her portrayal of Jen, the girl who marries a gay and honestly does not know it. Florence’s Jen is sweet and vibrant, being neither the typical airhead nor a girl in denial. The moment of revelation, when Jen finds out about Daniel, is executed with grace and complete earnest. Well Done.
The One is available on DVD as of November 18, 2011 at TLA Releasing.com.