MOVIE REVIEW : 'Two Girls in Love': Sweet Story of Young Romance

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The experience of first love is a movie perennial but rarely is it believably rendered. The best thing going for "The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love"--an amateurish, sweet, little piddle of a movie--is that it captures a bit of the freshness, and the awkwardness, of the moment.

Partly this is because writer-director Maria Maggenti seems to be carrying on her own first love with movies. This is her first feature, and even though, to put it gently, it's no great shakes as a piece of filmmaking, it allows the performers lots of freedom.

With the exception of the two leads, Laurel Hollomon and Nicole Parker, this freedom results in overacting so broad as to be burlesque. (The fact that the overacting may be deliberate doesn't help much.)

But the Two Girls in Love--Randy (Hollomon) and Evie (Parker)--are frisky and personable. They seem like real people, and so their budding romance strikes a few remembered chords. Randy is on the outs in her high school because she's openly lesbian; she lives with her lesbian aunt and her aunt's lover in a working-class sprawl. Evie, terrifically popular and upper class, is in Randy's senior class. They Meet Cute when she has to get her Range Rover fixed at the repair shop where Randy works after school.

Randy looks more imposing than she really is; she's a frail tomboy. Evie, who has up to this point been heterosexual, warms to her in stages, while her friends and, finally, her family, observe in horror.

Maggenti presents the romance in such a dewy, matter-of-fact way that the film is like a babes-in-the-woods fantasy of lesbian interracial harmony. (Randy is white; Evie African American.) In place of the tortuous suffering that often accompanies these stories, Maggenti substitutes benign bliss. Each approach is a species of make-believe, but at least Maggenti's is more entertaining.

* MPAA rating: R, for strong sex scenes involving teen girls, and for language and drug use. Times guidelines: It includes a brief, semi-revealing love scene.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

'The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love' Laurel Hollomon: Randy Dean Maggie Moore: Wendy Kate Stafford: Rebecca Dean Sabrina Artel: Vicky A Fine Line Features release. Writer-director Maria Maggenti. Producer Dolly Hall. Cinematographer Tami Reiker. Editor Susan Graef. Costumes Cheryl Hurwitz. Production design Ginger Tougas. Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes.

* Selected theaters .

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
62°