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Film / The Intervention

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The Intervention is a 2016 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Clea DuVall in her directorial debut. The film stars DuVall, Melanie Lynskey, Natasha Lyonne, Alia Shawkat, Cobie Smulders, Vincent Piazza, Jason Ritter and Ben Schwartz.

The film centers on four dysfunctional couples on a weekend trip: Jessie (DuVall) and Sarah (Lyonne), who might be moving a little too fast or a little too slow, depending on which one of them one asks; Annie (Lynskey) and Matt (Ritter), an engaged couple who seems picture-perfect, but who keep rescheduling their wedding and no one wants to talk about why; Lola (Shawkat) and Jack (Schwartz), a just-met couple who are rushing into things; and Ruby (Smulders) and Peter (Piazza), a married couple that fights constantly.

It turns out that Ruby and Peter's marriage led the other friends to make the weekend getaway so that they can all gather together to spring a surprise divorce intervention on them. Needless to say, they're not too happy about it and the intervention sets off a whole lot of drama between all the friends and couples.

The film contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion:
  • Age-Gap Romance: Lola is at least 10 years younger than Jack and Jessie. His friends are not entirely on board with this.
    Matt: Was Titanic out yet?
    Jack: When she was born? No, but I've explained it to her and she knows how it ends.
  • The Alcoholic: Annie is fairly quickly established as having a drinking problem, which blows their first attempt at having the intervention. More than one character comments on it over the course of the movie, and ultimately, the other characters have to stage an intervention for it.
  • As You Know: Annie greets Sarah and Jessie with "LESBIANS!"
  • Bittersweet Ending: While things seem to be looking up for all of the other couples, Annie and Matt's engagement, along with their relationship, seems to be effectively over, and they both seem pretty torn up about it. Fortunately, as a bit of a bright spot, on her flight home, as Annie seems as though she's going to order a bourbon similar to the beginning of the film, she instead opts for an orange juice.
  • Bookends: The film starts with Annie sitting next to Matt on an airplane, ordering an orange juice before switching to bourbon. It ends with Annie, sitting alone on an airplane ordering an orange juice.
  • Ironic Echo: The two interventions are staged very similarly, with much the same lines.
  • The Masochism Tango: Ruby and Peter have a really passive-aggressive relationship.
  • Staging an Intervention: The whole point of the film. Ruby and Peter's constant in-fighting marriage led their other friends to stage an intervention on them to convince them to divorce. And then there's an intervention for Annie and her drinking problem.
  • Waxing Lyrical: A nervous Annie tries to give a pep talk to Peter and ends up quoting the Cheers theme song.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Matt is implied to be afraid of the dark.