August 11, 1995 in Seven

Film Warmly Tells Of First Love Between

Dan Webster Staff Writer
 

Randy and Evie have very little in common.

Randy comes from a working-class background, and Evie lives in a mansion. Randy is surrounded by her extended family, while Evie has only her mother. Randy is flunking out of high school, while Evie is Ivy League material.

Above all else, Randy is white, and Evie is black.

But there is one aspect of their lives that is similar: Both have yearnings for their own sex.

And so, in the way of imaginative moviemaking, despite their differences they have sexual yearnings for each other. Despite their differences, they fall in love.

And that’s when things start getting truly interesting - although, clearly, not everyone in a Spokane audience will feel that way.

As a study of lesbian lovers, this Maria Maggenti film is bound to provoke some moviegoers. Still, anyone who isn’t turned off by gay films, not to mention anyone who simply likes to watch well-made and poignant reflections of first love, is likely to enjoy “Two Girls” very much.

Writer-director Maggenti, who is debuting as a feature-film director here, has made one of those movies that typically ends up being a film-festival darling. For one thing, she’s accomplished a lot on what appears to be an extremely small budget.

For another, she gets two good performances out of her lead performers - even if both are a little old to be playing high-school students.

As Randy, Laurel Holloman is perfect as the young, rollerblading rebel who works at a gas station, carries on a relationship with a married woman and who braves the taunts of a homophobic community.

Nicole Parker seems born to play Evie, a character owning a charter membership in the black bourgeoise. Preppy to the core, she drives a Range Rover and drinks expensive French wines. Her attraction to Randy ends up being almost as much a surprise to her as it is to her fair-weather friends.

But “Two Girls” is more than simply two good performances. Better yet, it deserves a better fate than being relegated solely to the festival circuit. Maggenti has managed to capture aspects of life that feel genuinely authentic, from the talk-happy dinners that occur at Randy’s house to the heart-thumping moment when Randy and Evie first hold hands in public.

The film holds together from the first shot of feminine feet mingling with masculine to the final scene where Randy and Evie joyously embrace in the shadow of a shouting crowd.

Heartfelt and hopeful, “Two Girls” is much more than just a genre film. It may be a romance about lesbians, but it’s hardly just a lesbian romance.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: These sidebars appeared with the story: ‘Two Girls’ Movie review “The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love” *** Location: Magic Lantern Cinemas Credits: Written and directed by Maria Maggenti, starring Laurel Holloman and Nicole Parker Running time: 1:35 Rating: R

Other views Here’s what other critics say about “The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love”: Rene Rodriguez/Miami Herald: The two girls in “The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love” are in love with each other, which is really the only “incredible” thing about their adventures. But what’s refreshing about this winning little comedy about teen love is that the affair isn’t treated as if it were incredible at all. Yeah, these chicks dig chicks. So what? Jay Carr/The Boston Globe: Maria Maggenti’s may be the first lesbianthemed film to achieve the crossover success distributors so wistfully mention. And its warmly satisfying take on young love rests on more than the fact that it’s cool to be cool about questions of sexual preference. Joe Baltake/McClatchy News Service: In many ways, Maggenti’s film is as unformed as its two heroines - sometimes self-conscious, sometimes a little amateurish, but always engaging.

These sidebars appeared with the story: ‘Two Girls’ Movie review “The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love” *** Location: Magic Lantern Cinemas Credits: Written and directed by Maria Maggenti, starring Laurel Holloman and Nicole Parker Running time: 1:35 Rating: R

Other views Here’s what other critics say about “The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love”: Rene Rodriguez/Miami Herald: The two girls in “The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love” are in love with each other, which is really the only “incredible” thing about their adventures. But what’s refreshing about this winning little comedy about teen love is that the affair isn’t treated as if it were incredible at all. Yeah, these chicks dig chicks. So what? Jay Carr/The Boston Globe: Maria Maggenti’s may be the first lesbianthemed film to achieve the crossover success distributors so wistfully mention. And its warmly satisfying take on young love rests on more than the fact that it’s cool to be cool about questions of sexual preference. Joe Baltake/McClatchy News Service: In many ways, Maggenti’s film is as unformed as its two heroines - sometimes self-conscious, sometimes a little amateurish, but always engaging.


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