I’m a big fan of Canadian actor Thomas Middleditch so it’s nice to see him in a Canadian film. This may not be the best film but at least it proves that he is definitely much more than his role on Silicon Valley.
Synopsis: While searching for the meaning of his existence, Ben Layten uncovers a family secret that leads him to a woman named Hanna. But when he and Hanna inadvertently fall in love, his life becomes increasingly and strangely complicated. Ben starts to realize that everything is amazingly and incredibly connected – and that the world might just be more inexplicable than he ever imagined. (Dark Star Pictures)
Starring: Thomas Middleditch, Jess Weixler, and Diana Bang
Writer: Jason Filiatrault
Director: Jason James
Rating: 14A (Canada)
Running Time: 85mins
For showtimes and more, check out Entanglement on movietimes.com.
This was a tale of two films that didn’t quite fit together but it didn’t overly impact the story as a whole other than the ending which didn’t land as well as it could have. Fortunately or not, with a running time of under 90 minutes, it will breeze by though it could have afforded more time for character development. The story was about a depressed man named Ben Layten (Middleditch) who, after a failed suicide attempt, learns about a sister he could have had a sister that his parents almost adopted before he was born.
Ben, looking to the idea of quantum entanglement to try and figure out where his life went wrong, thought that finding this sister was the key. With the help of his trusty neighbor Tabby (Bang), he set out to find this woman. He quickly finds a woman named Hanna (Weixler). She was a free spirit who liked to live life to the fullest thus helped Ben come out of his shell. Over time, the two begin to have more serious feelings for one another. This part of the film mostly played as a straightforward romantic comedy with the traditional pairing of opposites but we never got a sense that either of them really changed all that much.
Then the film makes a significant tonal shift which will either make or break the film. The film subtly hints at Ben’s mental illness throughout the first part of the film but it then goes all in with it by the end thus partially undoing what the first part did. The problem with this was that it felt unearned because of the lack of character development for Ben. Instead of approaching his illness with any depth, the film depicts his illness with a sense of whimsy that may rub some people the wrong way.
The best part of the film were all the performances, more specifically from Middleditch and Weixler. Middleditch was compelling while providing his best performance in a departure of a role as the troubled Ben, showing a considerable emotional range. We may not understand him but we were still hopeful for him. Despite being a cliche, Weixler was still captivating to watch as the free-spirited Hanna. Both she and Middleditch had great chemistry which made both fun to watch though so did he and Bang as Teddy. She was good as Ben’s neighbor who may or may not have had a crush on him. Their relationship kind of gost lost in the shuffle.
Overall, this was a decent romantic dramedy with compelling enough performances that is undone by a drastic tonal shift that is both unearned and undoes all that came before it. Some may not enjoy its depiction of mental illness but ultimately is a short film which makes it an easy enough watch that won’t be too demanding.