In A Relationship (2018) - Review

by - April 04, 2019

Synopsis: A funny chronicle of a summer in the lives of two couples.

Two Couples. One Summer.

In A Relationship tells the story of two couples over the course of three months in the summer. There is Hallie (Emma Roberts) and Owen (Michael Angarano) who have been together for three years (five, if you ask Hallie) and are more or less unofficially living together given how much time Hallie spends at Owen's small apartment. When he finds out his rent payment is increasing, Hallie suggests she move in officially so he won't have to move. You get the idea that this isn't the first time she's brought up the subject of living together, but Owen is resistant, wanting to maintain some semblance of his freedom rather than "settle down" with his girlfriend. After one too many fights over Owen's inability to commit, they decide to break up. Or rather, take a break, though it becomes clear pretty quickly that they're on different paths.

And then there is Hallie's hot cousin Willa (Dree Hemingway) who has just moved to Los Angeles from New York. Owen's doofy best friend Matt (Patrick Gibson) is immediately enamored with her, as they met years ago when Hallie and Owen first hooked up. His memory of her is tinged with romanticism and he compares the evening they spent together to Before Sunrise. However, Willa doesn't quite remember Matt the way he remembers her, but it's no matter. He's sweet and clearly into her, and Willa is a sexually liberated woman who seems drawn to Matt's puppy dog personality.

While Willa and Matt are enjoying the breezy, exciting first stages of a relationship, Hallie and Owen are discovering what it means to be single again after dating for so long. But neither couple has it easy. There is confusion and complications, especially when one person is clearly more invested in the relationship than the other. Brief sexual encounters and long-standing crushes on other people tend to muddy the waters a bit as well, leaving more questions than answers for both couples. You won't find any major conflicts or misunderstandings in this movie because the characters themselves are the only ones standing in the way of their own happiness, which is ultimately frustrating, but sadly believable.

The plot itself is nothing I haven't seen before, and there's very little here that will come across as some kind of revelation. These are four pretty people in their mid-twenties learning to navigate life and love and it's been done before. Many times. But In A Relationship is also funny and has its poignant moments. The performances are pretty good, especially from Michael Angarano and Emma Roberts. Their relationship felt natural, and though we don't get a lot of time with them as a couple before everything falls apart, you still feel the history between them. Every character is flawed and has moments of unlikability, but Boyd did a good job at fleshing them out and giving them depth, making both love stories feel authentic and worth caring about. The ending felt a bit too ambiguous to me, but I think it will grow on me the longer I think about it.

Starring: Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Dree Hemingway, Patrick Gibson
Directed by: Sam Boyd
Rated: NR
Watched: 04.03.2019
Fun Facts:
- In A Relationship was also a short film/mockumentary of the same name by Sam Boyd that starred Dakota Johnson. Boyd explains that the issues expressed in the short film are the full length film's focus.
Notable Song: Trees on Fire by DJDS

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  1. I haven't heard of this movie until now but it sounds like a lot of fun. The next time I'm feeling sick and need cheering up this will be my movie!

    1. Definitely! I hadn't heard of this movie either until I was searching on Hulu for something to watch and it jumped out at me. I hope you enjoy it!


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