Dana Adam Shapiro
Starring Chris Messina, Rashida Jones
Rough around the edges but written with heart, “Monogamy” traces the emotional unraveling of Theo (Chris Messina), a Brooklyn photographer in doubt about his engagement to Nat, an artsy soul played by Rashida Jones.
It all begins with a smattering of moments that telegraph an age-old relationship conundrum: Theo wants more sex, but Nat’s not up for his spontaneous advances.
His frustration spirals out of control when his work turns into a sexual obsession: A wedding photographer by day, he also runs a side business photographing clients, paparazzi-style, as they go about their daily lives.
When one of his clients performs some sexually naughty deeds for his surreptitious photo sessions, his fantasies about the exhibitionist distract him from basic boyfriend duties.
“Monogamy” is a titillating and genuine exploration into the psyche of a sexually frustrated and emotionally confused male. But as Theo’s state of mind begins to crumble, the film gets a bit more unwieldy. The script can be painfully self-conscious, and Jones’ character is disappointingly one-dimensional.
“Monogamy” is imperfect, but at least you can appreciate its refreshing moments of sincerity.