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New Line Home Cinema presents
The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love (1995)

"Love is hard. Love and relationships. Why do things change?"
- Evie (Nicole Parker)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: December 30, 2004

Stars: Laurel Holloman, Nicole Parker
Director: Maria Maggenti

MPAA Rating: R for a strong sex scene involving teen girls, and for language and some drug use
Run Time: 01h:34m:01s
Release Date: May 04, 2004
UPC: 794043695827
Genre: drama

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- CBB- B-

DVD Review

Members of communities underrepresented on screen are invariably hungry for images of themselves, and understandably so; so in many respects, the most interesting and important thing about this movie is its title. It's a pretty straightforward love story, only this time with two girls instead of a boy and a girl—and if you've spent a lifetime being told that there's something wrong with you because of who you love, a movie like this is cause for celebration. Of course, movies aren't inherently political, and asking individual characters to represent entire communities is asking too much of them. Which is my effort at a nice, roundabout way of saying that, while I appreciate the impetus behind this movie, on artistic terms I found it fairly pedestrian. I'm happy to sign the petition or whatever else I can do to help the cause, but I do wish that this movie were better.

Writer/director Maria Maggenti sets up her story not unlike a John Hughes movie: Randy (Laurel Holloman) is close to failing out of high school and works at the local filling station; one day, in her Range Rover, Evie (Nicole Parker) pulls up. Evie is rich, Evie is popular; Evie has a boyfriend. But there's a spark between her and Randy, who is out of the closet and takes no small amount of abuse for it in their small town, and the title of the movie lets you know just where this relationship is headed.

Even in the mid 1990s, it took a good amount of artistic bravery to make a lesbian love story, and ten years later, studios probably still wouldn't come near this sort of material. So it's a trailblazing picture in lots of respects, to lesbian relationships what Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? was to interracial ones. But there's a lot of wooden acting and obvious indicating from the cast, and neither Randy nor Evie are well etched as characters. We don't root for Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (or Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, or George Clooney and Julia Roberts, or your heterosexual screen couple of choice) to get together just because they're a boy and a girl, but because there's a particularity to them—they shouldn't be with anybody else, and it takes them the course of the story to find that out. We never feel that same spark between Randy and Evie here. Evie steps out of the closet and into trouble with the popular girls; she even gives to Randy what Bill gave to Monica: a copy of Leaves of Grass.

Maggenti is probably at her best in portraying the rush, the tantalizing possibility of first love, and the agonizing probability that that love is unrequited; the joy on Randy's face when Evie kisses her back is the best, warmest thing in the movie. But the plot is tarted up with the married woman with whom Randy is fooling around, and her redneck husband; and third-act wackiness is necessary to wind things up, but it's not very funny or involving. (The girls' families are going loopy, and they stage a high school version of a final standoff, Butch and Sundance style.) The film ends with a title card ("For My First Girlfriend. May Our Relationship Finally Rest In Peace") suggesting that this may have been as much a therapeutic exercise as an artistic one; as a movie for the rest of us, though, it doesn't really deliver the goods.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.66:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The film's indie roots are evident in the video quality: the print looks dull and the colors muddy, and the resolution is frequently poor. The transfer to DVD has been done adequately, but the ragtag manner in which the film is made is evident (and that's just a truth, not a criticism).

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Some audible hiss and crackle, but reasonably well presented on this disc.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 25 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Love! Valor! Compassion!, Torch Song Trilogy
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Maria Maggenti
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The writer/director's commentary track is full of fondly remembered details of the shoot, which was done in just 21 days—Maggenti jokingly recalls the rumor among the locals that they were shooting a porn film, heightening interest. Her political motivations are unsurprisingly clear on this track, and are clearly heartfelt and run deep. The DVD-ROM content is just an opportunity to buy stuff from the New Line website, and the accompanying trailers for films with gay themes and characters suggest the possible marketing ghettoization of these movies.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

A well-intentioned but not especially artful romantic comedy. It's easy to applaud the movie's unimpeachable sexual and social politics; unfortunately it's just not as entertaining as one might hope.


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