Reviews

Film Review: Clea Duvall’s The Intervention Asks “Can We Judge Our Friends’ Relationships?”

We have all made comments and even used a group hangout as a public discussion for a friend’s relationship. I have always believed that our friends are the family you choose, which might be why they feel so free to give you advice when you need it…. and, in The Intervention, when you do not want it. Actress Clea Duvall makes a strong directorial debut in The Intervention which questions placing a mirror in others’ relationships without doing the same in your own. 
In The Intervention, four couples take a weekend getaway to secretly plan a marriage intervention on one of the couples. Does this sound like a bad idea? Well, it certainly does not go well. The couple being intervened is Ruby (Cobie Smulders) and Peter (Vincent Piazza). Cobie Smulders gives her best performance yet as the fractured Ruby trying to sew the final threads unto the ripped quilt that his marriage. Both Smulders and Piazza heartbreakingly capture the pain of a dying marriage. They are so emotionally drained by tho other that you do not blame their friends for intervening. They seem to only find peace when the other is not around; the problem is marriage is a partnership. You too question, “Why are they together?”. They use their words and indifference to obliterate the other’s soul, which makes their friends’ intervention not a plight to save their marriage but a plight to save their friends. For the other couples, Ruby and Peter are on a definite path to divorce, but as the film progresses, you see each couple is not in the “relationship nirvana” they presume. 
The Intervention Official Trailer
First, there is Annie (Melanie Lynskey) and Matt (Jason Ritter). The film opens and closes on this couple, which makes sense as they were the heart of the film. Lynskey is wonderful as the smart, sweetly charming, and slightly invasive Annie. She assures that Annie’s vulnerabilities are slow and subtle in their release to show both the naivety and desperation that leads her to spearhead this marriage intervention. She uses Peter and Ruby as a deflection to her own woes with her fiancé Matt, played so kindly by Jason Ritter that you want to marry him. Their coupling is a perfect example of a dilemma most people encounter when building a potential relationship; Do I love you because you are a good one or “the one”? Yet, the other couples do not fall behind in being emblems of these very common and deep issues that cause love to be disjointed between passion and promise. 
Couples’ Sarah (Natasha Lyonne) and Jessie (Clea Duvall) and Jack (Ben Schwartz) and Lola (Alia Shawkat) represent the confusion that passion can bring at revealing a relationship’s promise. It is clear that these two couples’ have, or at least contain, the potential for love but can grow stagnant with lust. Sure, they want each other, but do they KNOW each other? That is a question that constantly pops up as you watch these couples’ try to discover if they are writing a love story with a “happily ever after” or a floppy ending? Moreover, these couples’ serve as the comedic relief of the film and have some of the funnier, lighter scenes. Alia Shawkat’s Lola serves as the most unexcpected “Greek Chorus” of the film as gives wisdom in a hipster platter. 
Clea Duvall wrote The Intervention, and she did a wonderful job in creating a script that is writhing with raw emotions. The cast is exceptional in giving a sense of realness to their characters and their situations. You will walk out of this film feeling like someone has captured both the beauty and roughness of love. That someone is Clea Duvall. The Intervention comes out in theaters on August 26.