The exposure of the personal in public, when love becomes war, always carries within it a fundamental indecency, the prosaic dissecting the poetic. And the prosaic usually wins, as nobody outside a couple can really accurately assess the intimate space between them, least of all people hired to separate them, with benefits. But Baumbach, through Johansson and Driver, achieved the almost impossible. An intimate public display of regret that actually works both ways.
So much pain, hubris, ambition and damage to draw upon, the entire publicity farce a perfect profile of the times – the avatar being more important than the author, yet we get a breezy, well-lit tale, all persona, glossy surfaces, and tiara tears. No matter that Laura Dern is fiercely up for it, and Kristen Stewart seems perfectly cast.
A sexual damage mentally packaged as a taboo love affair – an irreversible seduction interpreted as consensual in the imaginings of a 13-year-old girl determined to preserve the right of her passage to womanhood.