As a guy who has been in a committed relationship for about two years now, I find myself, like many people out there I am sure, seeking out films and articles or even songs that I can relate to with my own little struggles. The good times, the hard times, the lovey-dovey times. Confusions of An Unmarried Couple displays a pair of people about as far away from my personal relationship as possible – but it is one of those films where you don’t have to be either character 100%; you just have to see enough of yourself in them, or in your partner, or in your friends to really understand and feel where the film is coming from. It is an abrupt, to the point, no-nonsense take on one couple and their dealing with an awkward situation where one member was caught cheating on the other. As you can imagine, intense drama is to follow and it most certainly does; but not without hints of comedy here and there. Actually, there are a bit more than just hints scattered throughout. Confusions is actually borderline hilarious. Two people who spend the entire film trying to figure the other person out, their motives and why they did what they did doesn’t sound like a laugh riot – but the Butler brothers, the duo responsible for the film, balance it out and deliver one hell of an offbeat comedy. Delivering a film with flashes of Wes Anderson, Woody Allen and even Richard Linklater; showing once again that a film can be about the simple drama between two people and still carry as much life to it as any film with a vast cast of characters. The thing that surprises though is how the film doesn’t take itself serious, and yet gives us characters who very much do – and throws them together to combat one another for basically the audience’s amusement. I love you, I hate you and I’m going to yell at you until I love you.
I wouldn’t go about calling Confusions a "quaint" film, but there’s something very likable about it and even likable about these characters who ultimately have done horrible things to one another for reasons they aren’t even very sure of. Who still, even after months apart, find themselves battling each other simply because they can’t let one another go. I am a big fan of high drama split between a small cast of characters, and have always been interested in cinema that felt like it could be taking place right up on a stage in any theater in the world – and that drew me into Confusions of an Unmarried Couple from the start, even when just reading up on it. I have always loved films like The Odd Couple or The Apartment, where the characters were the main focus of the film and the performances were the most important feature. Confusions takes up this cause, and delivers a film that would probably make a spectacular stage play – but one would have to change out all the little intricacies that make this such a "movie". The actually story based segments of the film, where we watch our young couple battle back and forth, is juxtaposed between videotapes of themselves giving interview confusions of just why the relationship failed and why what happened did indeed happen. It isn’t explained who is giving the interviews, who is behind the camera or for what reasons; but that isn’t really the important part. This is the way the filmmakers truly let us into the world of these characters and our way of better understanding them. Being that the two of them are so confused about one another, and people plan things a lot better than they actually are able to say them aloud – we the audience are left to decipher just what is what in this complex and crazy world of relationships gone sour.
Overall, I found myself a big fan of the film and I think the Butler brothers have the opportunity to become either very large and respected figureheads in the independent community or important filmmakers who lay on the outskirts of independence and the Hollywood community. Much like Linklater, Anderson or the Coens. That seems all up to them, as with original ideas and presentation are in short supply in this day and age – and I see great things coming from these guys. I personally can’t wait to see more from them. You can check them out for yourself at their MySpace page (and doesn’t everyone but myself have one of those things these days?) at http://www.myspace.com/subprod – there you can view the trailer for this film and others. I highly recommend everyone go out there and check it out – and for $12 a flick it’s a steal.