Monogamy movie posterMonogamy, starring Parks & Recreation's Rashida Jones and Chris Messina, focuses on how our bodies always tell the truth. Our words may say one thing, while our faces, eyes and body language may say another. The problem is we don’t always know why, so reading into things may get us into trouble. This film is about truth, lies and photography. It is also about communication and what makes a couple work. It is a fascinating character study and brings up some interesting ideas. How much do we really know about each other?

A wedding photographer who makes just enough to get by, creates a second job in order to make more money. He has always been fascinated by the real stories that pictures tell by the studying the background, body language and expressions of the subjects in them. His new business, called Gumshoot, is a service where people contract him to photograph them in public places without his presence being known. The idea is to see what you look like in candid moments, to see yourself in your own environment and how others in that environment react to you.

Theo’s (Chris Messina) new business is picking up, and as he and his live-in girlfriend get ready for their own impending wedding, Theo begins to fixate over other people’s wedding photos and how they relate to each other. He is looking for that certain something that shows when a couple is truly in love. Meanwhile, Nat (Rashinda Jones) is having her own fixations. She begins reading into everything that Theo does.

In his Gumshoot business, clients contact Theo via the Internet with a time and place to meet and what they are wearing. Theo will then photograph them in secret and process a series of proof sheets. Next they will meet in person and Theo will help the subject pick their best photos and point out things that the background says about them. When a new client contacts him, Subgirl (Meital Dohan) shocks Theo by doing some very private things in very public places.

This bold, daring blonde mystifies Theo. While entranced in her photographic shots, Nat walks in behind him and he blushes. Nat knew about the shoot upfront, but neither she nor Theo knew that the subject would be so titillating. Both try to be cool, but seeds of doubt arise. Nat wonders why Theo is so obsessed with this woman and Theo wonders why Nat keeps pulling away.

Melanie Wilson
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