The Intervention     review by Bobby Blakey

Smaller dramas are often times more entertaining than the bigger budget films that are released. They are forced to rely on the characters and performances more than anything else and tend to just end up with more to them. The latest, The Intervention features a great young cast including Melanie Lynskey, Natasha Lyonne, Vincent Piazza, Jason Ritter, Ben Schwartz, Alia Shawkat and Cobie Smulders and Clea Duvall who also serves as writer and director, but does it offer up that something special or will it be a failed intervention?

The Intervention follows four couples plan to reunite for a “marriage intervention” disguised as a fun-filled weekend at a lakeside vacation home. In an attempt to push Ruby and her husband Peter toward divorce, Annie and her fiancé Matt have gathered family and friends to address their failing marriage.  Ruby’s sister Jessie, her girlfriend Sarah, old buddy Jack, and “baby-stranger” Lola engage in various games while trying to maintain the illusion of a fun weekend together. As it all falls apart, close quarters bring longstanding issues to the surface.   As each couple reels from these revelations, they reach out to each other in unexpected ways, struggling to express their devotion and conceding that things may never be perfect.  New bonds form and old wounds heal as all see the result when the best of intentions comes out in the most awkward fashion. This is one of those movies that does offer up a decent story, but never really steps out of being average at best. That doesn’t mean it is bad by any means, it is actually good, but it never seems to really push for something more. There are so many characters here dealing with issues it will keep you engaged thanks to it being handled perfectly, but none of these issues are all that compelling. I really enjoyed the interactions between the characters and the real life issues they used to drive the story, but there just felt like something was missing. It might have just been a case of to many issues happening at once that it never allowed the impact of the few to really kick in.

As a whole the film works and is not only a decent drama as well as great feature directorial debut from Duvall. I am interested to see where she goes with the directing side of her career in the future, but this is a strong start. This is one that will touch every viewer differently so give it a shot and decide for yourself.

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