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‘Unplugging’ review: Keep your cell phones on

Unplugging deals with the effect of social media and modern technology on relationships. Jeanine (Eva Longoria) and Dan (Matt Walsh) decide a weekend in a remote mountain town will revive their marriage. The idea is to have a complete digital detox. It sounds like a fun idea, until they run into strange locals, conspiracy theories, and a one eyed dog. 

The movie does a good job of honing in on the importance of tech in everyday life. Even when Unplugging is not overloading scenes with all the modern conveniences, the couple still has a cell phone, laptop, or tablet within reach. It is played for laughs, but there is some truth to it. Even if they would rather not admit it, everyone watching will relate to this. 

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This relatability is soon replaced with wacky jokes involving edibles and drones, however. Longoria and Walsh are good enough to keep things from becoming unwatchable, but it does feel like Unplugging loses its way. This is especially noticeable when towards the end things slow down and concentrate on making a deeper point. 

It places Unplugging in a weird situation. The film has no problems bringing the nonsense (a segment involving a chicken taking aspirin being the biggest example), but it also seems like it really has something to say. The end result is a tonally uneven story that is more confusing than anything else.

'Unplugging' review: Keep your cell phones on

This is a shame since the movie shines when it is more serious. The characters revelatory moments will speak to audiences. As Jeanine and Dan try to balance their work and home lives, it is hard not to think everyone can benefit from trying to find that same stability. There is fun to be had here, but not enough to put your phone away.

Unplugging premieres in theaters April 22 and comes to digital and on demand April 29

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