Entanglement (2018) (film review by Mark R. Leeper).
‘Entanglement’ is a pleasant but forgettable relationship film suggested by inaccurately applied laws of physics. Ben is a poor, woebegone soul who finds a woman who is his exact opposite and somehow the two are forever connected. Ben’s life can find its centre only if he finds this theoretical woman. Scripter Jason Filiatrault has an ear for clever, amusing dialog and director Jason James does well at getting pleasant performances from his actors, but the film gets its biggest contribution from the little pieces of scientific fantasy that creep in at the edges of the story.
Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. It always gets my goat when someone says that if you look at an object you automatically change it. To justify that conclusion they say it is because of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. One can see stars that have gone out of existence centuries ago but that interpretation is popular pseudoscience. ‘Entanglement’ is a pleasant comedy-drama about two people who are entangled in the same way that quantum particles can be forever entangled.
After a marriage that imploded, Ben Layten (played by Thomas Middleditch) is so disturbed that he cannot find a reason for his life that he simply wants to end it all. The only support he gets is cute but sarcastic talk from his cute, but sarcastic neighbour Tabby (Diana Bang). He tries multiple ways to commit suicide, but is unable to succeed. Then he discovers that his ‘almost-sister’, the baby his parents would have adopted had his mother not gotten pregnant with him is still living nearby. He and his almost-sister, Hanna (Jess Weixler), are entangled like quantum particles.
Each takes a pop-science interpretation of his/her life. Ben has mapped his world-line on his living room wall, tracking where he changed universes by making some major decision. Hanna feels the same connection, forever bound to Ben. Hanna and Ben open their hearts to each other and form a platonic but science-based friendship. Hanna is in all ways Ben’s opposite, a free soul who criminally cheats in life, picks locks and steals wallets in a way that is almost endearing. On the other hand, the well-meaning neighbour Tabby helps Ben get by honestly and may well seem like a better choice for Ben. She certainly thinks she would be.
Middleditch plays his part as if in the hazy half-sleep that has taken over and runs his life. He constantly looks like he is half-asleep. Weixler contrasts his performance with a quick sharpness. Her Hanna lives by aphorisms like ‘everything happens for a reason’, frequently science-based. The audience might be a step ahead of the script in expecting what is coming.
This is a pleasant little comedy-drama with maybe a little cosmic feeling, about as much as ‘The Big Bang’ theory has. I rate ‘Entanglement’ a low +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10. Don’t expect the science to be at all accurate.
Mark R. Leeper
© Mark R. Leeper 2018