Attempting to recount the expansiveness of a Charlie Kaufman film is as futile as trying to embody the expansiveness of everything. But as Kaufman brazenly tries to do just that, here I attempt to summarize his loose adaptation of Iain Reid’s 2016 novel: Lucy (Jessie Buckley, unforgettable) and Jake (Jesse Plemons, likewise) are a young couple on their way to dinner at his parents’ farmhouse; intermittently, and between various introspective discussions, Lucy thinks to herself that she wants to end their relationship. Absurdity ensues when the film introduces Jake’s parents, played by Toni Collette (evoking her role in United States of Tara—a little too caricaturish at times) and David Thewlis. The drive back home is similarly hypnagogic, complete with a stop for ice cream during a blizzard and a detour to Jake’s high school, where things come to a heady head. Kaufman is better at condensing the nuances of time and existence into a single film than I am at condensing one of his films into a single capsule—plot is hieroglyphic here, and, as with all Kaufman’s endeavors, what doesn’t explicitly cohere is most interesting (a scene in which Lucy recites Pauline Kael’s review of John Cassavetes’s A Woman Under the Influence is particularly tantalizing). I like this less than Kaufman’s previous films as either a writer or a director—its opaqueness is too casually muddled at times—but I admire his ongoing consideration of the question, “What does it mean to be?”