It's very odd to think that the sexy and poised Laurel Hollomon,
who kicked serious butt on Angel and now plays
Tina on The L Word,
once made a sweet, kinda bland comedy where she played a gangly
baby dyke experiencing first love with a girl from the opposite
side of the tracks.
I first saw the Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls
in Love on video years after its first release and my first thoughts were "cute, sometimes funny,
incredibly limited and horribly dated". Of all the popular
lesbian films made in the early-to-mid nineties, this one seems to have dated the
most. I didn't want that to be distracting, but I just couldn't
help it. The film has that distinct feeling of being a lesbian
episode of Degrassi Junior High.
On the flip side, this is a cute romantic comedy that neatly
blends the thrill of first romance with
the hardship and pain of coming out. Randy, a pot-smoking rebellious
teen, is being raised by her lesbian aunt and her partner. She
would rather work at the gas station, listen to music and make
out with her older-woman lover than be anywhere near a classroom.
Evie is a straight-A student, black, with an educated professional
mother and who drives an expensive car she got as a guilt present
from her father she rarely sees. She's popular, with a popular
boyfriend and popular friends.
When the two girls meet completely
by chance in the school bathroom one day, thus begins the classic
opposites attract storyline.
Randy knows how she feels right away. After all, she already
knows she's a dyke, she doesn't need to angst about that part
of it. Considering her age she's incredibly together, at least
about that part of her life. Of course, everything else about
her existence is pretty crap. Evie on the other hand has the rest
of her life together just fine but is experiencing these kinds of feelings
for another girl for the first time and it scares the hell out of her. After a
bit of soul searching though, Evie decides that she needs to go
with her feelings and see where they lead.
The strongest part of the film is the middle section as the girls
explore their feelings and each other's lives bit by bit. Evie
introduces Randy to her love of classical music and poetry (and
I'm pretty sure Walt Whitman himself would heartily approve of
poetry appreciation while high on pot). Randy on the other hand
introduces Evie to a whole different way of life not ruled by
rigid structure and high expectation. There's no doubt that they're
good for each other.
About two-thirds of the way through the film the girls make love
for the fist time, which is very sweet. Unfortunately, after that
the threads of the film fall apart as it hurtles towards a farcical
Randy lies to her aunt about where she is staying the night.
Evie and Randy get high and eat basically everything in Evie's
house while her mother is away at a business conference. After
Evie neglects to answer the phone, Evie's mother rushes home and
catches them in bed together.
Panicked, the two girls jump in Evie's car and end up holed up
in some sleazy motel. Things just keep getting more and more ridiculous
as the coincidences and story threads fold in upon themselves.
In the end, every character who has appeared the film ends up
standing outside the doorway to the motel room trying to get the
runaways to open the door.
As far as blatant metaphors go this is a doozy. When you're gay
the only way to handle it is to take a deep breath, gather your
courage and come out. Now could someone please stop hitting me
on the head with that hammer? I get it already.
As for characterisation, I wasn't really convinced that Evie
had deeper feelings for Randy. Nicole Parker convinced me that
she was confused and troubled, but I don't think I was ever convinced
that she had gone from confused to being in love. While Laurel
Hollomon's Randy is jumping around like an overactive Labrador
puppy, Parker remains staid and wooden. Her performance undermines
what could have been a far more interesting film.
I feel like such a miser when I review this film, but really,
it wasn't that good. Incredibly True Adventures
could be worth seeing simply for the chance to see a younger Laurel
Hollomon at work, but only if you're a rabid fan. Fans of fluffy
romance and teen movies will probably love this one. That being
said, I usually do like fluff and romance but in this case I was
fairly unmoved by the whole affair.
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