Between Us

Between Us combines dramatic realism and dark comedy to create a film experience which at times will make you cringe, laugh, and occasionally sit in open-mouthed disbelief. Adapted for the screen from a play, Between Us is not a feel-good film but it does subtly deliver some poignant life lessons. While it does not draw to a neat and tidy conclusion, it does provide excellent fodder for discussion for those open to confronting tough questions about the realization or sacrifice of dreams and ambitions in the real world. Between Us is the story of two couples who have been friends since their college days and although they initially have many of the same hopes and dreams, they take very divergent career paths and their financial, social, and romantic lives reflect these choices more intensely as they grow older. The film’s plot unfolds through two evenings that the couples share, one a flash back and the other in the present. In the first sequence, an evening dinner party at the opulent home of Joel and Cheryl, we see how Joel has been beaten down by a job that gives him an excellent paycheck but makes him feel like a sell-out and Cheryl has turned to adultery as a result of her boredom with being a Midwestern housewife as opposed to the chic city girl she used be. The other couple, Carlo and Grace, appear to be blissfully in love and are enjoying their lives as he pursues his dream of a career in artistic photography and she plans on continuing her education to be a social worker. The evening is a complete and total disaster as Joel and Cheryl reveal they’re getting a divorce and proceed to have a drunken shouting match. Fast forward a few years however, and the tables have turned. Joel has come to terms with his career choices as he reaps the rewards of a lucrative business and Cheryl has found a meaningful sense of joy in being a mother, while Carlo and Grace are drowning in student loans and a lack of income from his “art”. The financial hardships, the stress of living in new York City, and the challenges of parenthood are tearing their relationship apart. Essentially, the moral of the story is that your choices define you. Even when people begin in similar places, there are many different paths to choose from and each one has its own unique challenges and rewards. At the end of the day you are the one who has to live with the choices you make, for better or for worse. 3/5 –Colleen Garrott

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