The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love
Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love, The (1995)
★★ / ★★★★
Randy (Laurel Holloman) is known by her classmates as both a slacker and a lesbian who with lives with her aunt (Kate Stafford) and her aunt’s girlfriend (Sabrina Artel). She is a pariah whose only friend is Frank (Nelson Rodríguez) who also happens to be gay. When Evie (Nicole Ari Parker) pulls over her Range Rover at the gas station where Randy works, the two seem to get on quite quickly. Even though they go to the same school, it is the first time that they are actually able to see each other as people who might share similar interests rather than just classmates who only know of each other.
Written and directed by Maria Maggenti, “The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love” has good intentions of telling a story of two young women who become attracted to one another, but I could not get past its sitcom-like attempts at being funny. The forced comedy, especially toward the end when everybody clamors, screams, and hollers in front of a motel room, cheapens an otherwise interesting story about teens just trying to get through the last few weeks of high school so they can be free to be whoever they want to be after graduation.
The best scenes involve Evie and her judgmental friends (Katlin Tyler, Anna Padgett, Chelsea Catthouse) hanging out in a diner. The girls’ questions and assumptions about how it is like to be a homosexual and what it means to be one may sound downright stupid to the open-minded and those who have experience with diversity, but I have heard people in high school talk exactly like them.
Evie and her friends have two key scenes. The first is when word goes around that Evie and Randy are spotted hanging out after school. The friends call Randy “diesel dyke” and other names that are supposed to be witty but deep down coming from a place of bigotry. Evie, a smart, well-spoken seventeen-year-old who lives in a lavish household, is comfortable enough to tell her friends that they are essentially being idiots.
The second scene is when Evie summons enough courage to come out to them. It is shot in an obvious manner, the three girls sitting on one side of the table facing Evie, but the pain of suddenly realizing a friend’s true nature is captured with clarity. Whenever the material focuses on the social repercussions of coming out, the film has something important to say about the gay youth experience.
However, the chemistry between Holloman and Parker left me somewhat cold. The actors have chemistry but the picture does not allow it to gather momentum without interruption. Instead of allowing us to get into the drama of their secret affair, their courtship is consistently interrupted by the aforementioned sitcom elements: Randy is apparently seeing a married woman (Maggie Moore) while Evie has recently broken up with his needy boyfriend (Andrew Wright).
I did not understand why there must be so many hackneyed subplots that do not contribute to the film’s deeper messages and intentions. The overcompensation underlines the lack of confidence the writer-director has toward her work. If “The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love” had allowed the comedy to naturally seep through the awkward and sweet phases of a budding gay relationship, it would have reflected real life instead of merely an after school special.