Between Us tries to bring something new to the treatment of on-screen romantic couples. It features a happy couple, an angry couple, and all other types of relationships in between. These have been done before and Between Us tries to inject some fresh ideas and avoid clichés.
The happy couple in Between Us are Carlo (Taye Diggs) and Grace (Julia Stiles). They are newlyweds who are looking forward for a bright future together. Most of the first half of the movie takes place in the house of their friends, Joel (David Harbour) and Sharyl (Melissa George). They are former artists who sold out for materialistic lifestyle.
Carlo and Grace opt to be artists. They suffer from their visit to Joel and Sharyl’s place. They try to leave but they are just halfhearted attempts. Based on a play by Joe Hortua, the movie depends on intense dialogues that at times are uncomfortable to watch. Perhaps this is the intent of director Dan Mirvish, which is to make the audience feel the awkwardness of the characters.
Between Us becomes more interesting when the dynamics of the happy couple and angry couple change. In the first half of the movie Sharyl is the one who announced they are getting a divorce. But surprises are in store for viewers in the second half of the film.
The movie tackles issues regarding artistry, marriage, and parenthood. They are presented by the characters as the movie progresses. And in the end, there is no concrete resolution to the story.
Director Mirvish takes the story of four friends that love, hate, betray, and reflect each other. Between Us has a non-linear style that features flashbacks. But even with this type of storytelling, the movie flows smoothly. It would have been a better movie if the performances of the casts are less extravagant.