the incredibly true adventures of two girls in love
Written and Directed: Maria Maggenti
It's very odd to think that the sexy and poised Laurel Hollomon, who kicked serious butt on Angel and then played Tina on The L Word, once made a sweet, reasonably 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, limited and dated". Of all the popular lesbian films made in the early-to-mid nineties, this one seems to have dated really badly. 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. 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, 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. Randy introduces Evie to a whole way of life not ruled by rigid structure and high expectation. There's no doubt that they're good for each other.
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 farcical as the 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, 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 always feel like such a miser when I review this film since it holds a special place in the hearts of so many women. Objectively, it wasn't good. Incredibly True Adventures is absolutely worth seeing simply for the chance to see both a classic of the genre and a younger Laurel Hollomon at work. Fans of fluffy romance and teen movies will like this one. That being said, I usually do like fluff and romance, but in this case I was fairly unmoved by the whole affair.