One has to wonder when watching a movie with such a strange title which came first: the title or the awkward line of dialogue pigeonholing the title into the movie. Either way, whenever I hear the film’s title being uttered inside the movie, I react like Peter Griffin.
HE SAID IT!
One Percent More Humid is a title that, like Aardvark, has no bearing on anything in the story proper. In a way, it works, as the title gives nothing away and forces you to pay more attention.
The film tells the story of two best friends recovering mentally from a tragic accident months prior. Juno Temple’s character, Iris, deals with her trauma with outward cries for help, going after an older man, and letting that fact known without much hesitancy. Her friend, Catherine, portrayed by young Julie Garner, however, reacts inwardly, causing physical harm to herself like the albino in The Da Vinci Code.
While at first, that comparison seems like a cheap throwaway reference, it’s actually quite applicable here. Catherine blames herself for the accident and harms herself as a form of penance.
Catherine struggles silently, but seeks forgiveness likes everyone else. We all know the struggles of guilt and the pressure under which we sometimes cave. In that way, the movie relates to everyone, which was important to the director.
Director Liz Garcia stated after the movie’s premiere that she felt proud to make a movie about women and by women. As a viewer of her work, however, I can say that it’s not just a movie about women and by women, but also, for everyone.
While many of the specific struggles the leads face are uniquely feminine, the broad feelings of loneliness, guilt, and reliability on friends apply to everyone, and make the movie relatable to anyone.
Garcia stated her preference to not load a movie with messages, but OPMH isn’t devoid of them. Friendship takes priority, and she takes great pride in telling a story about the friendship between two young females.
The movie’s male lead is ultimately inconsequential, acting only as a living embodiment of Iris’s damaged feelings. He does offer a more complicated presentation of infidelity, as he’s dealing with loneliness and seems to genuinely care about both his wife and his mistress. True to life, however, he doesn’t appear to be wracked with guilt, but has instead rationalized his actions without ever pretending he’s in the right.
Ultimately, the movie is enjoyable, and a strong representation of women in film. It’s her hope that the doors continue to open further for stories of women, by women, and for everyone, and with a ten year passion project producing results like these, everyone watching One Percent More Humid should be inclined to agree.