REVIEW: ‘The Four Of Us’ Examines What Makes A Relationship Work

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The Four Of Us - But Why Tho

The Four Of Us (Du Sie Er & Wir) is a German Netflix Original created by Florian Gottschick and Florian von Bornstädt and starring Nilam Farooq, Paula Kalenberg, Jonas Nay, and Louis Nitsche. Four friends decide to swap partners for four weeks to test their relationships, and now they are spending the weekend together at a beach house.

I need to just start by saying the Jonas Nay is hilarious and half the reason I enjoyed The Four Of Us was his performance. All four actors do well; their physical acting especially was impressive, as shown in tedious glory during a several-minute staredown. But seriously, come for Nay’s comedy alone. Of course, stay for the rest of the film because, despite a premise that sounds like a kitschy rom-com, it’s actually a smart drama that just happens also to be pretty funny.

The four characters in the film all began their four-week experiment clearly with their own problems, individually and as couples. So when they all broke their one rule—no sex—it is immediately apparent the weekend is about to go poorly. But the film isn’t about those four weeks. It takes place solely on the weekend afterward. No flashbacks. Just the here and now. And so when it gets past all the explosive news bombs of the first act, and you’re left wondering where on earth the story might go from there, you’re left with a completely creative drama and no expectations to have fulfilled.

Over the course of the movie, everyone gets to play the victim and be the aggressor in-between moments of levity and deep conversation. They examine what it means to be in a relationship, the difference between and possibilities of polygamy and polyamory, the nature of sexuality as a whole, and mostly, what makes for a good relationship at all. I generally enjoyed and appreciated the conclusions the group came to. I’ll be honest, I wish it ended with them all in one happy polycule, and given the way the conversations went, it felt like a bit of a tease. Especially after perhaps the best scene between two assumedly straight men kissing I’ve ever seen, but, alas.

I’m not sure how I feel about the actual conclusion, though. Everyone is fine with where things end up, but it just felt like a dry ending for such a firey film. It’s not dissatisfying, but it doesn’t have me thrilled either. There are some camera and editing choices I didn’t prefer either. There’s a very rapid switch back and forth between two cameras early on that had me jarred and concerned early on. It never happens again, but there are several moments where multiple perspectives are shown in squares next to one another at the same time, and a few of these moments felt like they landed. Most of these instances were pretty benign, but one was done rather poorly and put me off to the rest. The puke in one scene was also pretty terrible. It just looked like guacamole. Totally well-timed and pretty funny, but rough to look at and for the wrong reasons.

The Four Of Us is a unique romance story, neither fully dramatic nor completely comedic. It makes some excellent points about relationships that might get you thinking about what they mean to you while also cracking you up.

The Four Of Us is streaming now on Netflix.


The Four Of Us (Du Sie Er & Wir)
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

The Four Of Us is a unique romance story, neither fully dramatic nor completely comedic. It makes some excellent points about relationships that might get you thinking about what they mean to you while also cracking you up.