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SIGNIFICANT OTHER

"Close Encounters of a Twisted Romantic Kind ."

What You Need To Know:

SIGNIFICANT OTHER is a twisting, turning creature feature on Paramount Plus. Harry takes Ruth on an extended camping trip through the Pacific Northwest to propose to her in a spectacular way. Everything seems to be going according to plan until she turns him down. Harry returns from a walk in the woods a different person. Later, Ruth discovers that all is not well, and she was right to turn down Harry. This leads to a series of disturbing discoveries and events, which result in a War of the Worlds ending.

SIGNIFICANT OTHER takes elements of many other science fiction movies and brings them together in an interesting mashup. The movie’s cinematography, music and plot twists are good. However, SIGNIFICANT OTHER is otherwise too derivative and forgettable, with an ending that lacks closure. Despite a positive message that love is unique to human beings, as opposed to animals and aliens, the movie has a Romantic, humanist worldview where love is seen purely as an emotion and marriage is ultimately seen as unnecessary. SIGNIFICANT OTHER also has graphic violence and some strong foul language.

Content:

(HH, RoRo, ABAB, B, LL, VVV, S):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Dominant humanist and romantic worldview, marriage is seen as a negative, and love is reduced to an emotion, with a light moral element saying that love is unique to humans

Foul Language:
13 “f” words, three scatological obscenities, four Jesus profanities, and two light profanities

Violence:
Some very strong and strong violence includes an alien creature attacks a deer, and the stripped carcass is shown later, a woman pushes a man off a cliff to his death (impact without blood is shown), alien creature disguised as a man cuts off a man’s left hand and then slices him in half with a long blade protruding from his finger, the right half of the man’s head later falls off as he dies, creature kills a woman by driving the same blade through her left temple, a woman stabs an alien who looks like a human in the chest (some welling blood), an alien is attacked by sharks in sea surf, and the water is filled with blood, creature grabs woman with a tentacle, and she passes out, a woman crushes the face of the creature with a rock (much blood splattering and disturbing image)

Sex:
Couple talk about fornicating in a tent, and this is implied, but nothing is shown; they are later shown together in the tent, and sex is more clearly implied but still never shown, and it’s implied extra-marital sex is acceptable

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol use

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Lying and deceit.

More Detail:

SIGNIFICANT OTHER is a twisting and turning creature feature on Paramount+ where a woman finds out that her romantic camping trip with her partner is disturbingly not what she expected. SIGNIFICANT OTHER is well-made and effectively takes elements of many other science fiction movies, but the story is otherwise too derivative, the ending lacks closure, and the movie has graphic violence, about 17 strong obscenities and profanities and a strong Romantic, humanist, anti-biblical worldview where love is seen purely as an emotion and marriage is ultimately seen as unnecessary.

Harry takes Ruth on an extended camping trip through the forests of the Pacific Northwest to propose to her in a spectacular way. Everything seems to be going according to plan, until she turns him down. Things are awkward, and Harry returns from a walk in the woods a different person.

Later, Ruth’s walk in the woods reveals that not all is well, and she was right to turn down the man with whom she believed she was camping. This revelation pushes the suspense to the maximum. It leads Ruth to fear her “Significant Other” is not what he seems. Eventually, it results in a series of disturbing discoveries and events which create a War of the Worlds ending.

The brevity of SIGNIFICANT OTHER (84 minutes) is to its advantage since it has brought together elements of many other science fiction films to create an interesting mashup in hopes of arriving at a unique and winning formula. As such, the movie succeeds in several key ways. It creates an effective misdirection that leads to a major plot twist. It has interesting reflections on the unique experience of love and the human condition. It evokes real sympathy for its female protagonist. Also, it has excellent cinematography and insert an unsettling tone and music. The scene involving a shark trap is well-conceived. However, the creature of the feature is simply a less shocking Thing. Also, the movie’s ending is rather a downer because of a lack of closure. Thus, this Close Encounter with a disturbing romantic twist has its ups and downs and some well-done plot twists, but it’s derivative enough to be forgettable.

The abundance of graphic, disturbing violence in SIGNIFICANT OTHER, mixed with some strong foul language, mars this rather short film. The worldview is a mix of Romantic and humanist philosophical presuppositions, with a possible shard of a biblical/moral element. Ruth wants to keep her relationship with Harry free of the dangers of her parental past, while Harry seems to see marriage as a good thing. However, eventually both Ruth and Harry conclude that marriage isn’t necessary, and possibly an impediment to, a healthy relationship. “Harry” supplies the movie’s strongest, yet ambiguous, statement when he says, “Love doesn’t even exist anywhere else [other than earth]. It’s a singularly human emotion.” Although reducing love to an emotion is a problem, he does argue for the special nature of humanity (as opposed to animal-type creatures) in that the experience of love seems to be unique to humans. However, the movie overall has a Romantic, humanist view of love and marriage. This anti-biblical worldview in SIGNIFICANT OTHER, combined with other troubling content, makes the movie unacceptable viewing.


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