Incredibly delightful

Issue 

The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love
Directed by Maria Maggenti
Opens March 7, Chauvel and Valhalla Cinemas, Sydney
Reviewed by Margaret Allan This is a lovely film about first love, with all of its excitement and awkwardness that is part of our teenage years. It is the story of Randy (Laurel Holloman) and Evie (Nicole Parker), who fall in love while in the senior year of high school. Randy is a tomboyish young working-class rebel who hates school and is victimised for being a lesbian and living in a lesbian household (with her aunt and her aunt's former and present lovers). She has also had to cope with a religious extremist mother who sends her Operation Rescue anti-abortion birthday cards complete with graphic illustrations. Evie, an African-American from a very wealthy family, moves in very different social circles and has recently broken up with an extremely wimpy boyfriend. She drives her brand new Range Rover into the garage where Randy works, and from that first meeting, they both know that there is something special about the other. Although the film is about the developing relationship between two young women, it is more about first love, rebelling against authority and developing a sense of self — issues common to most young people. Despite the fact that it is a film made by lesbians, it doesn't come across as a film wanting primarily to make a particular point about lesbians or particular issues relating to lesbians. Director Maria Maggenti argues, "What is a lesbian film anyway? My film is about first love and how being in love changes everything. It's also a conventional narrative story shot in a relatively conventional way. The content is what's subversive, not the form." It does, however, take up issues of tolerance to lesbians from both younger and older generations. Also a strong theme is the class differences between the two characters. Despite the fact that Evie is African-American, her family wealth has enabled her to have a very privileged upbringing, sheltered from most of the effects of racism. Being very naive, she is surprised when her "friends" no longer see her as one of their own when she confides in them about her relationship with Randy. Randy, however, has experienced all of the harsh reality of a working-class existence and is much more street wise. The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love is a wonderful film, often extremely funny, which captures the occasional excruciating awkwardness of those experiences of a first relationship. It is a fresh and delightful experience, not terribly deep, but definitely worth seeing.