Entertainment

‘There Is No “I” in Threesome’ Review: Monogamy Alternatives

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The documentary “There’s No Me in Threesomes” (on HBO Max) opens with a couple stripping naked on a high springboard. Dizzy and clasped hands prepare to leap.

The director Jan Oliver Lucks, who passes Ollie, and his fiancée Zoe dare to jump into an open relationship. The long-distance duo live on opposite sides of New Zealand and can sleep with other people for a year up to a year before their wedding. They use iPhones to record the experience: Ollie hopes the documentary will turn them into figureheads for an enriching alternative to monogamy.

Ollie and Zoe are a cute couple, but when they coo and cuddle, they can be difficult to find. Both seek attention and admire their project excessively, and the home video of their hangouts tends to be enjoyable. They may aim to portray polyamory as durable and fulfilling, but it’s more of a risky experiment – especially when Zoe’s affair with a theater director named Tom turns into a serious romance that strains her bond with Ollie.

But when our central couple’s connection falters, the documentary turns into an astute exploration of perspective. Zoe records her own footage of her time with Tom, but we begin to see their affair through Ollie’s eyes. As the director and narrator of the film, Ollie controls the story and uses this role to demonstrate his jealousy and pain. His cleverness culminates in the surprising final act of the documentary, in which Ollie shows how the art of filmmaking can mirror the lies we tell each other about love.

There is no me in threesomes
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 28 minutes. Watch on HBO Max.

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Robert Dunfee