You, Me & Her (2024) A thoughtful and moving marital drama

Director: Daniel Levy Dagerman
Cast: Selina Ringel, Ritesh Rajan, Sydney Park, Anna Campbell
Running time: 94 mins

Written and directed by husband and wife team Daniel Levy Dagerman (director) and Selina Ringel (scriptwriter, star), You, Me & Her is a romantic comedy-drama that takes a refreshingly open and honest look at modern-day marriage. It may be a little too simplisitc in places, but it will leave you with something to think about, in more ways than one.

The plot centres on Ash (Ritesh Rajan) and Mags (Ringel), a married couple who have lost their spark, due to the pressures of their two year old child and tensions arising from Ash’s business choices. Attempting to reconnect, Ash books them both a holiday – their first without the baby – at a luxury resort in Mexico, but their constant arguments soon threaten to ruin everything.

However, when Mags meets yoga instructor Angela (Sydney Park) on the beach, she feels the spark of mutual attraction, and is pleased when Ash reacts in a supportive manner. Later, as the trio get to know each other, Mags and Ash start to reconnect over the idea of having a threesome with Angela, with a view to saving their marriage.

Ringel has deliberately given her own character many of her own personal background details (Mexican-American, Jewish, multi-lingual, grew up in Guadalajara), so it’s safe to say that this is clearly a personal project for her, and she knows Mags inside out. Accordingly, she delivers a heartfelt performance that’s genuinely moving, especially when Mags begins to really blossom in the wake of her self-discovery.

By contrast, Rajan has a less overtly sympathetic role and he has a tricky balance to maintain in that respect. In fairness, it’s a balance that doesn’t always come off (the chemistry between the two leads is nearly there, but not quite), though he strikes the required notes towards the end.

Ringel’s script is impressive throughout – it feels thoughtful and considered and the central message about the importance of seeing each other and listening to each other in a marriage is nicely conveyed. The script also shows an innate understanding of the sources of arguments within a relationship, and the need to understand different perspectives.

Though the romantic drama element of the film is strong, the comedy side is less successful. All the elements are there for an amusing bedroom farce in the third act (characters showing up unexpectedly, and so on), and the script does a good job of both teasing and frustrating the audience, but the direction and editing are both off, and the whole thing should have been a lot sharper and tighter, particularly in terms of comic timing.

In short, this isn’t entirely without flaws and never quite delivers any actual laughs, but it’s still a thoughtful, provocative and ultimately moving marital drama that feels more realistic and more honest than any number of Hollywood romcoms. Worth seeing.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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Author

  • Matthew Turner

    A lifelong film fanatic, Matthew Turner (FilmFan1971) is a London-based critic and author, as well as the co-host of Fatal Attractions, a podcast on erotic thrillers. His favourite film is Vertigo and he hasn't missed an episode of EastEnders since 1998.