‘Untogether’ Review: Adrift in Los Angeles, Looking for Love | Modern Society of USA

‘Untogether’ Review: Adrift in Los Angeles, Looking for Love

‘Untogether’ Review: Adrift in Los Angeles, Looking for Love

As far as I can see, the main purpose of “Untogether” is to fetishize Jemima Kirke. Playing Andrea, a writer and barely clean heroin addict, Kirke is a Marilyn Monroe fantasy in vintage frocks and strawberry curls. Stripping, stretching, dancing and posing, she works the camera so assiduously that her latest sexual partner, Nick (Jamie Dornan), barely gets a look in.

Not that Nick, an emotionally shuttered doctor with a successful memoir under his belt, would register any more forcefully were Andrea not perpetually wiggling between him and us. And he’s not alone in his lack of definition: there’s scarcely a behavior or line reading in this exasperating relationship drama that doesn’t feel like affectation. Fraudulence might be a plot point, but only the writer and director, Emma Forrest, knows why it has to permeate the entire movie.

Defined by emotional damage in lieu of personalities, Andrea and her younger sister, Tara (played by Kirke’s real-life sister, Lola Kirke), bumble through separate romantic crises. While Andrea uses sex to coax love, Tara, an oversharing aesthetician, is pulling away from her middle-aged boyfriend (an underutilized Ben Mendelsohn) and toward a twinkling rabbi (Billy Crystal, if you can believe it). His civil rights-era stories and hip sermons (“Can Siri Google your soul?”) leave her breathless.

Dreamily shot in Los Angeles by Autumn Durald Arkapaw, “Untogether” toys with themes of faith and self-knowledge. But in a movie where quips (“You look like velvet, but you’re Velcro”) too often substitute for conversation, insight is fleeting. Like its psychologically adrift characters, this debut feature comes fancily packaged; what’s inside, though, is mostly hot air.

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