Entanglement is certainly in the vein of other cutesy indie romcoms, but the key difference is it’s self-aware.

Our story opens on an extremely depressed Ben Layten (Thomas Middleditch of Silicon Valley and the new Verizon commercials) as he attempts suicide. Heavy emphasis on attempts, as he tries various clumsy methods but none pan out.

In the aftermath, Ben sets a goal to figure out exactly where his life went wrong. He creates a crude string timeline on his wall that veers off on different tangents — “Lost my virginity” for instance — a la Doc Brown in Back to the Future II. If he finds which milestone is responsible for his crappy life, he thinks, he might be able to fix it. During this self-examination, we meet the people in Ben’s life: his clearly (to everyone but Ben of course) enamored, control freak neighbor, Tabby, a child psychologist who is treating him for some undisclosed reason, and his divorced parents.

Ben ends up learning his parents once tried to adopt a child. In fact, they had actually gotten the baby girl, but then they found out Ben’s mom was pregnant and had to immediately return her to the adoption agency. Ben is instantaneously obsessed with the idea of this would-be sister and how she could have affected his life. Who knows how his little string timeline could have looked had he had a sister. Maybe she would have taught him to dance, he muses. Within minutes he resolves to find out what he’s been missing.

The girl Ben meets isn’t what he expected, though. Hannah (Jess Weixler) is impulsive and daring and maybe even a criminal? Whatever she is, it pulls Ben out of his funk. Soon their unlikely acquaintanceship evolves into full blown romantic love. And it is in dating his would’ve-should’ve-could’ve been sister, that Ben discovers the truth — the whole, unforgiving truth — that he has been looking for all along.

Entanglement follows the normal tropes — dude meets unrealistically mysterious and quirky girl who helps him see life differently — but it does so with a wink and a nod. At one point for instance, without giving too much away, a character tells Ben that seeing animated magical surrealism (think 500 Days of Summer’s bluebirds fluttering around Joseph Gordon-Levitt) isn’t normal. It is a fun little way to say to the audience, yeah, we know what we’re doing here.

Something should be said in particular of Thomas Middleditch, who is really fun to watch. His comedic timing enhances the awkwardness of his character and makes you like him even though the character shouldn’t be particularly likable at all. If you only know him as that Verizon guy, this may make you want to dive into Silicon Valley. Hell, it may make you want to switch cell phone service providers. He’s that good.

In the end, Entanglement is the story of the what if and the almost. Who would we be without the people who helped form us? Where would our lives go if we added or subtracted a single person?Check out the film in theaters Friday, February 9th to find out the answers!