Review: “The Intervention”





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Posted September 5, 2016 by

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It is always an impressive feat, when a film perfectly balances emotional drama with comedy. Clea DuVall’s indie dramedy “The Intervention” does just that, and what makes the accomplishment even more impressive is that it is also her feature directorial debut. Duvall deftly uses the talents of a well-rounded, ensemble cast of indie favorites, like Melanie Lynskey and Natasha Lyonne , and a script with both humorous gags and raw emotion. The result is an honest, enjoyable indie film, that should be a nice launching point, for her career in directing.

intervention 2Four couples gather, at a beautiful summer house, to do some unwinding and enjoy some cocktails and kickball, with old friends and family. Soon, though, it is revealed that one of the couples, Peter (Piazza) and Ruby (Smulders), are in for more than they bargained for. Their marriage is distant at best and miserable at worst, and Annie (Lynskey) has organized a “Marriage intervention”, where the other three couples plan on telling Peter and Ruby to get a divorce. With the aid of her fiance Matt (Ritter), Annie convinces Jessie (DuVall), Sarah (Lyonne), and Jack (Schwartz) that this is all for the best. The only problem with that plan is that each of the couples have their own bottled up issues that, one by one, come to the surface and threaten to derail the mission at hand.

Each member of each relationship is forced to confront their own flaws and past mistakes. This makes for alternately uncomfortable and laugh out loud funny moments. All of the acting is top notch, and each character gets a good amount of screen time and dialogue. DuVall gets all she can, out of her movie’s hour and a half, letting the script breathe, and never letting the mood tilt too far to one side. She never allows things to get too preachy or melancholy, but also doesn’t go for so many laughs that you lose touch with what is emotionally at stake. intervention 3

“The Intervention” isn’t going to make my “Top 10 of the year” list, but it is an enjoyable movie, that is well worth the 90 minutes of your time. It is a smooth, easy ride with more than enough memorable moments. Much like it’s title, it is awkward and honest. DuVall has definitely announced herself as an indie director to watch for in the future.





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