Living With Yourself
Cast: Paul Rudd, Aisling Bea, Desmin Borges
Director: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
From being a teen heart-throb to a legitimate Avengers star, Paul Rudd has indeed come a long way. His still boyish charm, coupled with some adrenaline-pumping stunt scenes, Rudd mostly is worth your money.
That's why expectations were high from his double role in the new Netflix show Living With Yourself. Thankfully, he doesn't disappoint, but the same can't be said about the show.
It's a unique setup--an unenergetic, uninspired and clumsy Miles Elliot (Paul Rudd) tries to save his work and his relationship by rejuvenating at a spa in a shady 'strip mall' that promises to make him a better version of himself but he ends up waking up in a grave instead.
Miles walks barefoot for 6 hours in a diaper, barefoot, creeps out an elderly couple and eventually finds out that there is someone else in his house who looks exactly like him.
The story gets even more bizarre when the next person, the new or the better Miles, thinks he woke up from the spa, went to work and made dinner for his wife. When the men find out that one of them was supposed to be murdered and the other is a clone made in a strip mall with very vivid memories of his life, hell breaks loose for both of them.
Living With Yourself is a dark dramedy that deals with issues people go through on a daily basis like existential crises, self-loathing, stagnant relationships and even depression – if we can be so bold.
The directors, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, bring out the best in Rudd, who switches back and forth with ease. The show moves forward in viewpoints, the events repeat on the basis of which character is driving the story.
The two Miles are at the centre of the storyline to a point it gets repetitive, but writer Timothy Greenberg takes it and turns it by making it about Miles' wife Kate, played brilliantly by Aisling Bea. This gives the second act, the confrontation a face.
Now, the confrontation is about Kate, who is in charge of the narrative. Old Miles fights to keep the life he once hated. The new Miles fights for a life that he wants and fits into perfectly, but cannot have.
The details in the screenplay, the dialogues, the flow of the timeline – right to an amazingly choreographed fight scene, which is a metaphor for a person's self-hatred, are enjoyable.
When everything comes together, however, we feel that there is something lacking. The great performances do not provoke any strong emotions in favour of the show.
Living With Yourself leaves you with a sense of closure, and that is probably why you’ll have a pleasant evening if you choose to give four hours of your time to it.
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