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Newness poster.jpg
Official poster
Directed by Drake Doremus
Produced by
Written by Ben York Jones
Music by Gwilym Gold
Cinematography Sean Stiegemeier
Edited by Lisa Gunning
Distributed by Lost City
Release date
  • January 25, 2017 (2017-01-25) (Sundance)
  • November 3, 2017 (2017-11-03) (United States)
Running time
112 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Newness is a 2017 American drama romance film directed by Drake Doremus from a screenplay by Ben York Jones. It stars Nicholas Hoult, Laia Costa, Courtney Eaton, Danny Huston and Esther Perel.

It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2017. It was released on November 3, 2017, by Lost City.


Martin (Hoult) and Gabriella (Costa) live in Los Angeles. Martin is a Pharmacist and Gabriella works as a physical therapy assistant. They’re both constantly using an online dating app to hookup with people. One night, Gabriella and Martin both meet up with two different people from the app to have sex but things go downhill for both with Gabriella being unsatisfied and Martin’s date being too intoxicated. Resigned, both of them return to the app, coincidentally match with each other and meet at a bar. Instead of hooking up, they spend the night getting to know each other and enjoying each other's company. Gabriella says she finds new things exciting but gets bored easily. She also talks about her life in her hometown, Barcelona, while Martin mentions his ex-wife, Bethany. They both reveal they had bad dates earlier that night. They then go back to Martin’s apartment and have sex. Soon after, the two develop a relationship.

Gabriella eventually moves in with Martin and both of them confess their love for each other. One day, Martin takes Gabriella to visit his parents. Martin’s father tells Gabriella that Martin’s mother has dementia which Martin never mentioned to her before. Gabriella sees various photos around the house of Martin and Bethany and also of a little girl. At home, Gabriella gets upset that Martin never mentioned his mother's condition or the girl in his childhood photos. An annoyed Martin starts accusing Gabriella of trying to ‘dig’ up his past. He angrily reveals he had a sister that died in an accident when she was 16. They have a heated argument with Gabriella saying they should tell each other everything because they’re in a relationship. Martin starts asking about the guy she had sex with the night they met causing an enraged Gabriella to leave the apartment. The next day at work, Gabriella meets a guy named Roland who invites her to a dinner party. Meanwhile, Martin gets invited out by his co-workers to a club. They both end up cheating on each other. The next morning, they both confess their infedelity and decide to seek therapy. Through therapy, they decide to be completely honest with one another and begin an open relationship.

Gabriella's friend, Blake invites them both to a party. There, they flirt with other people throughout the night while the other one watches. Martin bonds with Blake while Gabriella gets close to an older man named Larry. The two continue their string of hookups with other people until Gabriella suggests a threesome to which Martin asks for Blake but Gabriella disapproves because they're friends. Gabriella soon starts spending more time with Larry and his daughter. Meanwhile, Martin discovers Bethany recently had a child. Unsettled, he secretly watches old home videos of Bethany which he kept. Larry gives Gabriella a necklace, which she later hides from Martin, and they have sex. The next morning, Gabriella admits she came during sex with Larry which angers Martin as none of the other guys had made her done so before. Later, Martin finds the necklace and goes to a bar alone where he runs into Blake. A drunken Martin starts talking about Bethany and reveals she miscarried when they were together. He also admits he has unresolved feelings for her. An uncomfortable Blake says she is not the person to discuss this with and leaves. Martin returns home immediately to talk to Gabriella but she is too tired. She later finds out from her friend, Claire, about Martin and Blake's encounter. Martin returns home to find a crying Gabriella watching the old videos and reading an email that Martin wrote for Bethany where he states he constantly thinks about her. They start arguing and Martin brings up the necklace. Gabriella leaves the apartment and moves in with Larry.

Larry invites Gabriella on a 2-year business trip around Europe including Barcelona which he has to leave for in 2 weeks. She sends Martin a text but he does not reply. Martin and Bethany meet up after he sent her the email. Bethany states it's neither of their faults that their marriage didn't work because they were both young and naive. She then asks him if he is happy because she is, despite the fact that her life has become boring and predictable. They part ways amicably. At Larry's party, Gabriella sees Blake and demands him to kick her out. He refuses and calls her immature. Gabriella leaves the party, goes to a club and seduces two men before breaking down. She texts Martin again but to no avail. She returns the next day and tries to talk to Larry about what happened but he says he doesn’t care and belittles her behavior. Gabriella leaves him and eventually visits Martin. Martin admits he was never really comfortable with an open relationship. The two reconcile and reassure their love for one another. They also decide to take their relationship seriously from now even if they might get bored and resent each other.



The film was shot in secret during fall 2016.[1][2]


The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2017.[3][4] Shortly after, Netflix acquired worldwide SVOD distribution rights for the film.[5] It was released on November 3, 2017.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Newness received mixed to positive reviews from film critics. It holds a 69% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 13 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.6/10.[7] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 49 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[8]


  1. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (January 9, 2017). "Surprise Drake Doremus Film 'Newness' Starring Nicholas Hoult & Donald Trump Doc Headed To 2017 Sundance Film Festival". The Playlist. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  2. ^ Winfrey, Graham (January 12, 2017). "Sundance 2017: Inside Drake Doremus' Secretive Online Dating Film 'Newness'". Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  3. ^ Lee, Ashley (January 9, 2017). "Sundance Adds Donald Trump Doc, Drake Doremus' 'Newness' to Lineup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "Newness". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  5. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (2017-06-14). "Netflix Landing SVOD Rights To Drake Doremus' 'Newness'". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  6. ^ Russian, Ale (October 3, 2017). "Nicholas Hoult Falls in Love - and Into a Sexy Open Relationship - in First Newness Trailer". People. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  7. ^ "Newness (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  8. ^ "Newness". Metacritic. Retrieved October 6, 2017.

External links[edit]