Melanie (Taissa Farmiga) and Dan (Ben Rosenfield) have been together since they were kids and are still very much in love. Now an exciting new time has begun for both of them. Dan works as an intern for a record label and Melanie started college. But the changes to their lives start to disrupt their relationship, and rather violently at that. Will they be able to work things out or do they have to face the fact that their more adult selves will go their separate ways?
The question of what happens to a relationship when the people involved undergo big transformations – will they develop in the same direction or rather grow apart? – is interesting, and in a coming of age context it seems particularly intriguing. But unfortunately 6 Years couldn’t really sustain my initial interest.
Funnily enough for a film that’s all about the (potential) falling apart of a relationship, it lost me as soon as the troubles started. I thought that the film was great at portraying the natural and easy intimacy Dan and Melanie have, their many shared years apparent in every little gesture (kudos to Farmiga and Rosenfield for that) and I loved watching this – as long as they were happy with each other.
When the fighting starts though, I couldn’t go along with it that much anymore. Especially when things turn violent (with Melanie being the major aggressor), I thought it escalated too far too quickly. And it’s usually simply exhausting to listen to couples as they fight. 6 Years is no exception to that rule.
Once we were on Doom Road, the most interesting thing for me was the relationships both of them had with their mothers and the advice they gave. I thought they provided a nice alternative take on things, a mature viewpoint that kind of comes from the outside of the relationship but by people who were closely involved from the beginning. Plus, I really enjoyed Lindsay Burdge in her role.
But in the end, the film remained flat for me, proving neither particularly insightful nor engaging enough to make me really pay attention until the end, despite its slim runtime. I was never really involved enough to care whether Melanie and Dan stayed together or not (though I was leaning towards “not”) – and I think without that, the film simply cannot work.