Unplug deals with the effect of social media and modern technology on relationships. Jeanine (Eva Longoria) and Dan (Matt Walsh) decide that a weekend in a remote mountain town will rekindle their marriage. The idea is to have a complete digital detox. Sounds like a fun idea, until they come across some weird locals, conspiracy theories, and a one-eyed dog.
The film does a good job of emphasizing the importance of technology in everyday life. Even when Unplug does not overload the scenes with all modern conveniences, the couple always has a mobile phone, laptop or tablet at hand. It’s played for laughs, but there’s some truth to it. Even if they would rather not admit it, everyone watching will remember it.
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However, this relatability is soon replaced by goofy jokes involving edibles and drones. Longoria and Walsh are pretty good at keeping things from getting out of hand, but it feels like Unplug loses its way. This is especially noticeable when, towards the end, things slow down and focus on a deeper point.
He puts Unplug in a strange situation. The film has no problem bringing the nonsense (a segment involving a chicken taking aspirin being the biggest example), but it also seems like it really has something to say. The end result is a tonally uneven story that’s more confusing than anything else.
It’s a shame because the movie shines when it’s more serious. The character reveal moments will speak to the audience. As Jeanine and Dan try to balance their work and personal lives, it’s hard not to think that everyone can benefit from trying to find that same stability. There’s fun to be had here, but not enough to store your phone.
Unplug premieres in theaters April 22 and arrives on digital and on-demand April 29
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