Review: Netflix's 'I'm Thinking of Ending Things' is classic, essential Charlie Kaufman

Im Thinking Of Ending Things. Jessie Buckley as Young Woman, Jesse Plemons as Jake in Im Thinking Of Ending Things. (Photo: Mary Cybulski/NETFLIX © 2020)

I’m Thinking of Ending Things
4 out of 5 Stars
Charlie Kaufman
Writer: Charlie Kaufman, Iain Reid (book)
Starring: Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette, Jesse Plemons, David Thewlis
Genre: Drama
Rated: R for language including some sexual references

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SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) –Synopsis: A young woman goes with her new boyfriend to meet his parents. He’s committed to the relationship. She’s not.

Review: Writer/director Charlie Kaufman lives in The Twilight Zone. There’s no other explanation for films like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Adaptation.,” “Being John Malkovich,” and “Anomalisa.”

I’m Thinking of Ending Things” stars Jessie Buckley as a young woman who has agreed to go with her new boyfriend Jake, played by Jesse Plemons, to meet his parents. She really doesn’t want to be there and in the quiet of their drive through a snowstorm she begins an internal monologue of doubt, annoyance, and resentment that lasts throughout the film.

Arriving at Jake’s home, the evening becomes increasingly awkward with the introduction of his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis) who become older and younger versions of themselves throughout the evening.

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is filled with words. There are points and counterpoints, arguments and apologies. All combine to create a chasm between the couple. He placates, she refuses to bend. His troubles surface, her indifference grows. It is as if we are watching the entirety of their relationship in just over two hours. It’s never particularly healthy, but it is endlessly engrossing.

Most of the film takes place in the claustrophobic confines of a car surrounded by heavy snow. Not much happens in the physical sense, but a thousand thoughts and tangents are explored. As such, the film isn’t going to appeal to those who aren’t willing to engage with the characters, listen to the dialogue and just go with the journey that Kaufman creates. He’s not senselessly strange, there’s a point and a message within the oddness.

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