Permission d1779

Permission
Directed by Brian Crano
Out on February 9, 2018

Anna (Rebecca Hall) and Will (Dan Stevens) have been a couple since childhood. Just turned thirty and on the brink of starting their adult life together, they decide to put their commitment to the test, sleeping with other people for the first time in either of their lives. Simultaneously, Anna’s brother (David Joseph Craig) and his life-partner (Morgan Spector) struggle with the decision to become parents.

Written, directed, and produced by Brian Crano, the film follows Anna and Will’s flailing attempts at maintaining their relationship while pursuing casual sex. It’s less a romantic dramedy, and more a comedy of errors as both couples struggle to communicate honestly with each other and their other partners; although lighthearted and enjoyable, at times it evoked the same cringing feeling that occurs when you watch someone wipeout.

The type of non-monogamy Crano presents resembles what only a person deeply committed to monogamy would conceive of. (At one point, there is a heavy-handed, slightly pedantic attempt to distinguish open relationships from cheating.) While it’s refreshing to see a romance that portrays options outside of monogamy as valid, and advocates for self-autonomy in favor of commitment, it works best as a tale about what communication errors to avoid when pursuing an open relationship. It did, however, do a nice job of defying gender roles by replacing a conventional straight couple with a conventional gay couple. 3/5

Top Photo from Permission

More from BUST

No, Cheating On Your Wife Is Not The Same Thing As My Open Relationship

What I Learned From One Year In An Open Relationship

8 Things "I Love Dick" Got Right About Non-Monogamy 

Sarah C. Epstein is a writer and creator living in NYC. In her free time she enjoys eating berries, reflecting on her dreams, and hanging out with her pet snake, Sydney. Find her online at cricketepstein.com

Support Feminist Media! During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain BUST.com. Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.