Weddings! What joyous things they are. Or not, depending on the circumstances and your tolerance for soul-withering small talk, enforced communal fun and ‘YMCA’ by the Village People. This American indie glides around two unattached friends, Ben (Jack Quaid from ‘The Boys’) and Alice (Maya Erskine), who accompany each other to a neverending succession of nuptials, to get drunk together, to get through the hell of it all, to feel less like singleton saps. She’s just fallen out of a relationship; he keeps failing to fall into one. Until, of course, they fall for each other. Let’s get ready to romcom!
Going for low-key laughs rather than a conveyor belt of massive lols, ‘Plus One’ leans on the likeability of its leads, who have convincing enough chemistry and make for a breezy enough 90 minutes. Directors Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer aim for naturalism, sometimes successfully. It’s not easy to pull off a ‘Before Sunrise’, to make this stuff feel effortless, and their stab at the genre is more formulaic and more transparently contrived than it might believe it is. It’s all a bit slight, a bit Netflix landfill.
Yet, while ‘Plus One’ is hardly emotionally demanding and it gets a little self-conscious at times, it is sweet and sincere. It ticks the expected boxes at the expected times: dishing out the ups and downs just where you’d want them. On the one hand, that means there are no surprises; on the other, well, why not? It’s a formula, but it’s a formula that still works.