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Monogamy (DVD Review)

12 Jun, 2011 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Street 6/14/11
Box Office $0.02 million
$29.99 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Chris Messina, Rashida Jones, Meital Dohan.

Theo (Chris Messina) and Nat (Rashida Jones) seem to have a bright future ahead. He’s a scruffy wedding photographer. She’s a sassy aspiring musician. They live in a quaint Brooklyn apartment with their pet dog and encourage each other’s crafts, as they plan their wedding.

Theo’s voyeuristic side gig, Gumshoots, entails photographing people who pay to be followed around incognito as they go about their days. He takes on a new client, “Subgirl” (Meital Dohan), who proves to be unlike anyone he’s ever photographed. The job starts off innocently but immediately turns strange as Theo, zeroing in on his client from afar, observes Subgirl discreetly pleasure herself on a park bench.

After the awkward encounter, he can’t stop looking at the images, and even concocts Subgirl’s elaborate backstory in his mind. Nat, being the supportive girlfriend, passes it off as another photo shoot. But Theo’s intrigue with his subject turns into an outright obsession as he arranges additional photo shoots, each increasingly sexual in nature. Subgirl’s boundless exhibitionism feeds his desire for intimacy that is lacking with Nat, who never seems to be in the mood to have sex with her fiancé.

When the Subgirl distraction consumes Theo’s life, it becomes clear that he’s not ready for monogamy within the confines of marriage. He becomes a different person and neglects Nat, who Jones plays as the betrayed girlfriend quite well.

Monogamy offers an avenue for Jones’ vocal talent to shine, as Nat performs a song akin to a cutesy, folksier version of Alanis Morissette’s sendoff song “You Oughta Know” at an open mic night. She must get it from her dad (record producer-composer Quincy Jones). The bonus material includes a music video for “You Don’t Know (Nat’s Song),” with montages from the film to help drive the emotion.

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