'There Is No 'I' in Threesome' still
Source: HBO Max

'There Is No 'I' in Threesome' Will Keep You Glued to the Screen Until the Very End

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Feb. 16 2021, Published 6:37 p.m. ET

Where do we begin to talk about HBO's latest documentary, There Is No "I" in Threesome? The ending seems like a fitting place to start unpacking what went on in the 87-minute film.

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There Is No "I" in Threesome follows a newly engaged couple, Ollie and Zoe, as they attempt to navigate an open relationship leading up to their wedding, at which point they intend on becoming a monogamous couple and building a family.

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'There Is No 'I' in Threesome' ending, explained.

"We want to show the world through our own experiences what vulnerability and love and intimacy can be like," is how Zoe explains director Ollie's documentary project.

As Zoe and Ollie explore different "versions" of themselves with different partners, Zoe begins to fall in love with her boyfriend and ultimately rethink her relationship and engagement to Ollie. Put simply, she ends their relationship over a video call.

"You are always pretending," Ollie says. 

"Babe, I wasn't pretending," replies Zoe. "I feel in love with you and I loved you and I've been loving you for the past three and a half years." 

"And that stopped?" 

"I think it stopped," she says.

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While this doesn't exactly come as a surprise to viewers, the scene that follows might. We pan out and see that Zoe is not Zoe at all. She's not the girlfriend Ollie made her out to be, but rather actress Natalie Medlock, who was hired to help Ollie finish out the project.

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He explains: "The story of this film started almost five years ago. My fiancée and I decided to make a documentary about us exploring alternatives to monogamy."

"Our documentary became my film when she left me for the new guy, Tom," Ollie continues.

Three years later, not wanting to be left without a fiancée and without a film, Ollie went back to the editing room. With permission from his ex, he cast actress Natalie Medlock to finish the film with.

What's more, Natalie became a co-writer on the project. "Together we watched the original documentary footage," Ollie recalls, "the parts we could use, and what we would recreate."

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So, how much of 'There Is No 'I' in Threesome' is real?

With this massive reveal coming more than an hour into the experimental HBO film, viewers are left wondering whether the entire project was fabricated based on Ollie's initial conceit.

"Shivon is real," Ollie clarifies, "my mother is real, Bowie and Wilbur [are real too]."

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What else is absolutely real? The lessons that Ollie took from working on this filmmaking project. "The truth is I neglected [Zoe's] pain in all of this," he says at an uncharacteristically retrospective point. "I wouldn't stop filming even as our relationship fell apart because it made for a good story of me falling."

Now, after the release of the film on HBO, Ollie takes to Instagram to reflect. "I had to write myself back together," he writes in one post. In another: "Someone always gets screwed."

There Is No "I" in Threesome is available to stream on HBO Max.

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