THE INTERVENTION: A Weekend with Friends

by Elizabeth Stoddard

Can your friends be too involved in your other relationships? The Intervention, the debut feature from Clea Duvall, explores this idea as a group of friends meet up for a weekend in Savannah. Duvall, who wrote and directed the film, plays Jessie, a commitment-phobe currently involved with Sarah (Natasha Lyonne). Jessie and friend Annie (Melanie Lynskey, Two and a Half Men) have concocted a plan — and convinced the others, including Jack (Ben Schwartz, House of Lies) and his younger girlfriend Lola (Alia Shawkat, Arrested Development) — to talk to couple Ruby (Cobie Smulders, How I Met Your Mother) and Peter (Vincent Piazza) about their toxic marriage.

The drama, centered around this large southern house on the coast, is first and foremost about the relationships between the group: newly formed, broken, recovering, or currently splintering apart. There’s little discussion of work or careers, but plenty about new affairs and old. The characters tend to be defined by how they relate to the others.

Although the cast would appear a comedic plethora of riches, Lynskey is the strong standout of The Intervention. Her Annie is ready to confront others about their private issues, but less prepared to deal with her social drinking or the fiance she strings around. Her hesitation is obvious to all but herself (well, and her fiance played by Jason Ritter, who chooses to see past her balking at marriage plans).

Beyond Lynskey, there’s not really enough to The Intervention. It has a moment or two of laugh out loud hilarity, but almost struggles at other times. Duvall’s film is light fun, and not at all a bad way to spend your time, but didn’t strike me as particularly memorable.

I had the hardest time writing this review because I wanted to like the movie more than I did. At least it gave me a chance to see what Lynskey is capable of… and I’m happy to see Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation‘s Jean Ralphio in my heart always) in any role.

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