Mark, Mary & Some Other People @ Tribeca

Things are changing so quickly nowadays or so it seems to me. Maybe I am just getting old. Many of the changes are for the better but it is indeed hard to keep up with all the new terms/words. One which I am not sure I will be adding into my lexicon is ethical non-monogamy. A kind of open relationship in which the couple sets some ground rules. Written and directed by Hannah Marks (After Everything), indie film Mark, Mary & Some Other People is a romantic drama that revolves around that very new to me term.

After Mark (Ben Rosenfield – A Most Violent Year, Mickey and the Bear) runs into Mary (Hayley Law – from television’s Riverdale) at a convenience store they are thrown into an awkward reunion as she does not initially remember him then asks him to come into the bathroom while she takes a pregnancy test. Well, she turns out not to be pregnant and one thing leads to another and soon they are dating, then living together and then getting married.

Just as soon into the marriage, Mary begins to wonder if she is capable of only sleeping with one person for the rest of her life. Building upon the doubt she approaches Mark (during sex!) to see if he would be open to (pun intended) trying out ethical non-monogamy. After initially being angry and a drunken night at a party where both behave badly, the young couple has a sit down, agrees to try it and then comes up with a set of rules.

Both are enjoying the new arrangement and having a lot of sex. Then, of course as you could have predicted, one is not enjoying it as much. Saying that things get complicated is an understatement.

Like the marriage here, there are some flaws with Hannah Marks’ film. Like the fact that she sets up the non-monogamy as a major plot point and the examination of it is rather superficial and predictable. Plenty of dating app hook ups and a threesome with a good friend of Mary’s. Expected, no? Does this without going any deeper than level one. It is just plastered all over the place that they are young so don’t make the best decisions. A little trite. But then makes up for that goof by featuring a lot of the smaller more intimate moments of a relationship. Rendering many of them funny and sexy. In other words, really easy to watch. Plus Rosenfeld and Law have great chemistry so, again, that makes it an easy watch.

The film screened as part of Tribeca’s U.S. Narrative Competition section

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