Movie Review - I Love You Both

Real-life brother and sister write and star in this independent comedy, but the brother directs this film. He also cast their real-life mother to play their mom in the movie, so it's a real family affair. It's about a brother and sister who become romantically involved with the same guy. On the surface, this movie seems like it could be an assay of bisexuality and yes, it involves a bisexual character, but the film isn't really about him, as he is merely a plot device or a glorified MacGuffin. He's really not much more than bait to lure the brother and sister out. There's really not much more that he needs to be, but there simply isn't that much to the brother and sister that would make me care about them.

Kristin Archibald stars as Krystal, the sister who has an office job where her dad is the boss and where her ex-boyfriend works. She has a nice, cushy office that's nicely decorated with a couch. Yet, she doesn't seem to like the job too much. She slacks off a lot and her dad seems to give her a pass.

Doug Archibald co-stars as Donny, the brother who gives piano lessons to children. He himself is getting piano lessons from an older guy who promises to send music to a record label executive or somebody. In exchange, he lets the old guy borrow his car. Yet, there's something shady about the old guy. Donny also lets the father of the child he teaches get away with not paying him for the lessons.

A lot of the comedy in this movie comes from the fact that Krystal and Donny live in a world where they are constantly surrounded and have to deal with quirky people, sometimes very quirky people. Krystal and Donny are the only straight folks to everyone else they encounter who has some kind of quirk or weirdness about them. Even their mother is very quirky. She'll call Krystal and say things like she has poison ivy on her vagina with no filter or reticence at all. Krystal and Donny aren't engaged by any of it. By comparison, the two fraternal twins come across as depressed, which they might actually be.

Lucas Neff (Raising Hope) also co-stars as Andy, the guy with whom both Krystal and Donny become romantically interested. Ostensibly, he could be considered a hipster. He's really not as quirky as everyone else in this movie, which is what probably makes him attractive, but he is a little bit off. Andy meets the twins at their birthday party and both are into him. Later, they find that he's possibly bisexual or has dated both genders. From there, it's off to the races.

It seems as though Krystal and Donny are close. They live together. They both seem to have the same, wry sense of humor. Actually, Krystal has a more deadpan sense of humor, or else she's just really passive aggressive with her comments. Donny doesn't seem to have any sense of humor.

The two have special code-words for things. Yet, when this situation arises, they can't seem to communicate all of a sudden. It's as if in all of their time together, they never ever considered the possibility that they could be interested in the same guy. It seems like both have known for a while that both are sexually interested in men, so it never really makes sense that they can't have a honest conversation about how they feel about this guy. The two all of a sudden just stop talking to each other.

Despite the title though, it's not a true love triangle. Andy comes across as having more feelings for one rather than the other. A kind of twist is that it ends up being that he has feelings for the person you don't expect. However, there's no real rhyme or reason to it. It feels like it's just ping-pong and Andy is the ball going back-and-forth. The movie might have been better if it were an actual situation where Andy openly and honestly dated both brother and sister and then had to choose whom he wanted, based on who they were as people and as genders, if he couldn't have both, because apparently no one here ever saw Sense8.

Instead, this movie becomes how co-dependent these two twins are, which is fine, but I'm not sure the movie even does a good job of exploring that. There's just a lot that director and co-writer Doug Archibald leaves ignored. It perhaps isn't too much of a spoiler to say it seems as if Andy likes Donny more than Krystal. Krystal is slightly, if not a lot jealous but Donny has seemingly never had a boyfriend, so she tries to be happy for him. Yet, because she broke up with her boyfriend and she has no other friends with whom to hang, she tags along as a third wheel on a trip with Andy and Donny.

Because Archibald leaves so much ignored, practically nothing that happens on this trip makes any sense. For starters, Andy's behavior makes zero sense. At first, he seems oblivious or dismissive of Krystal's presence, then he's suddenly all over her. He just isn't cognizant of the fact that using one person to get another isn't good, especially if those two are siblings, but he never really states why he would choose one sibling over the other any way. It makes for some awkward humor, but not for a very good narrative.

Regardless, the behavior of Krystal and Donny make no sense either. This is in part because not much context is provided as to how the twins came to be where they are. It also doesn't help that by the end, they don't seem to have been changed by this situation or learn anything. In other words, their co-dependence will continue.

In terms of context, we don't know why Donny doesn't have a boyfriend or if he ever had one, or what his dating history has been like, so that we can understand better his feelings about Andy. In terms of context, we don't know why Krystal broke up with her boyfriend. We can guess, but it also would have helped to know how they even got together and if Donny were a third wheel in as much as Krystal is a third wheel with Donny and Andy. Without this context, I struggled to care about these two privileged, white people and their feelings for a guy neither of whom never really get to know.

Not Rated but contains language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 27 mins.

Available on DVD / VOD.


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