If you’re looking for the perfect indie flick to close out your lazy summer with, ‘The Intervention’ is it. Clea DuVall is a triple threat as the writer, director of and actress in this brisk dramedy, and she does an extraordinary job of it all.
The Intervention reminds me why I love indie comedies. Actor Clea DuVall, directing her first feature film, teams up with David Bernon, Ben Schwartz, Alia Shawkat, Natasha Lyonne, Cobie Smulders, Melanie Lynskey and Jason Ritter to portray a group of friends who get more than they signed up for when they go on a weekend getaway — sounds like a dream, right? Not so fast.
In this film, there are soft and sweet moments, sure, but the tightly shot, dramatic outbursts between the couples are where writer, star and director Clea DuVall‘s directorial prowess really shines. You feel for the four couples, not because their relationships are being challenged, but in the way that they navigate the challenges — they’re undeniably relatable as people. Sometimes a couple that acts like it isn’t meant to be actually is, and vice versa, as Melanie Lynskey, the delightful meddler, learns. Once in a while, a person just isn’t meant to be in a relationship, which is okay, too.
The nature of an ensemble movie means that certain characters are often neglected along the way, or one couple doesn’t get the proper resolution that the others are afforded. That’s not the case here, thanks to DuVall’s heavy-handed editing, and the viewer never feels like he or she has missed any behind-the-scenes material. In fact, we don’t know very much all about the characters’ backstories — but that’s fine, because the film has a fast-moving plot that immediately sweeps you along for the ride. It’s funny and poignant and deserves your consideration.
I’d also like to give a shout out to the lovely score, which was done by Sara Quin, one half of Tegan and Sara. Only 1-2% of film composers are female, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film — worse numbers than any other below-the-line occupation. (In 2014, female supervising sound editors were at 5%, cinematographers were at 5%, and directors at 7%.) On top of that, women rarely get to score major feature films — but women like Sara are challenging industry expectations and gender stereotypes. Her score for this film is unconventional, and it’s lush with pop vibes that suit the story perfectly.
The Intervention is playing in select theaters nationwide, and is available for streaming on VOD.