80% of romantic films are about great beginnings — the first spark and how a guy and a gal gradually overcome obstacles to a relationship that’s clearly meant to be. 15% are about deeply-felt relationships that end tragically or on a sad, bittersweet note — Romeo and Juliet, Titanic, The Way We Were, Brief Encounter. But touching romantic films about a couple dealing with second-act bruisings and fresh discoveries and emotional rebirths are very, very rare, and all the more valuable for that. This is what The One I Love shoots for and pretty much nails and brings home. On top of being agreeably mind-fucky and Twilight Zone-ish.
On top of which the ending of The One I Love planted an earbug. The Mamas and the Papas’ version of “This Is Dedicated To The One I Love” is played over the closing credits, and I still can’t get it out of my head. Most earbugs last three or four days — a week at most — but this been dogging me for a couple of weeks.