I'm Thinking of Ending Things

Director: Charlie Kaufman
Year Released: 2020
Rating: 2.0

A multi-named woman (Jessie Buckley ... j'adore) goes with her boyfriend Jake (Jesse Plemons) to his parents' house, all the while seriously considering breaking up with him ... and she winds up in some time-shifting alternate reality.  Kaufman's working off of the 'psychological thriller' by Iain Reid (which I haven't read, but hat tip to Scott Black for filling me in on details) but has his own spin on it: at first it seems to be setting itself up nicely as a metaphor for being in a relationship with a person and envisioning how the future will be with him/her and bearing full witness to his/her flaws and past traumas (they go to Plemons' old high school and presumed hangout spot, an ice cream shop) but Kaufman just can't help outsmarting himself by turning the ending into a cacophony of musical theatre and interpretive dance.  There are symbols out the wazoo - Buckley recites Pauline Kael's review of A Woman Under the Influence (one of her books is on Plemons' bookshelf), they discuss Anna Kavan's Ice (to self-consciously hint he's flirting with the slipstream genre), they mention Guy Debord and détournement (another wink to the audience), Buckley's "profession" keeps changing (is she a poet? in geriatrics? a painter? a physicist?) - but at the end the pieces are still on the floor, held together with crusty Scotch tape ... plus there's a rotting pig in the corner and everyone is curled up into a ball, weeping inconsolably.