Movies I Watch With My Dog: 6 Years


I was sold on watching the movie 6 Years when I stumbled upon it on Netflix and saw Taissa Farmiga was the star. I love her in American Horror Story and will probably watch anything she’s in (even the droll Spring Breakers wannabe, The Bling Ring).

6 Years is a movie about a couple who’ve been together for six years who are facing the end of college. If you do the math, which I’m sure you did, you’ll note that this couple has been together since high school. Egads! That’s a long time for people as young and into taking shots at house parties as these two.

Mel and Dan are a couple deeply in love, but with a proclivity for drunken fights that leave one or the other with blunt force head wounds or glass-related injuries. Things get complicated when Dan kisses his record label co-worker Amanda at a pool party and, thanks to the power of iPhones, Mel finds out about it within a day. It’s pretty obvious that we’re watching the slow death of a couple, if not from the foreshadowing in the indie rock soundtrack, then from the name 6 Years. (It’s not 7 for a reason, we assume.)

The style of this movie is incredibly true-to-life. When Mel is sitting outside a party drinking who knows what out of a glass (let’s assume it’s Captain Morgan and Sprite) and talking about whether or not she should watch porn, it feels almost as close to what actual college parties are like as any movie can get. It’s sloppy and colorful, but grittier and more awkward than how most movies make a fun night out being 21 look. This is not the victorious end-of-year bash where Michael Cera gets laid. This movie is more about the awkward in-betweens.

Mel and Dan’s relationship is also painted with much more realistic strokes than most movie romances. They go from sun leak-filled walks holding hands to screaming fights that leave one of them crying in bed, and at one point, in jail. The violence in their relationship spills out of the private realm and into the public a few too many times, sounding the death rattle of their relationship. We know they’ll be better apart, but there’s something cathartic in watching things unravel.

6 Years is a time capsule of an era in life many people should be able to relate to, and it does this in a very visceral way. The music, the slow moments and the polarity of emotion all feel very real. Even the way Dan’s record label bosses offer him a job feels very real.

6 Years is a Duplass Brothers production, along with HBO’s mediocre Togetherness and the charming The Skeleton Twins. (If Duplass sounds familiar, it’s because Jay Duplass plays Pete on The League.) This movie debuted at SXSW only a few months ago and is already on Netflix for your college-reliving pleasure.

Would I recommend this movie? I thought it was very good. It doesn’t feel like most movies – it feels more like reality. You might need a glass of Captain Morgan and Sprite to wash it down with.