The Incredibly True Adventures of 2 Girls in Love

      Maria Maggenti's debut feature holds a whiff of autobiography about it.
The rather awkwardly titled
centers on teenage tomboy Randy Dean (Laurel Holloman in
her first film) who lives with her lesbian aunt in an unnamed Southern rural
community. Randy is shunned by most of her classmates because of the sexual
orientation of her relative; it's just assumed that she herself must be a lesbian
-- which happens to be the case. She works after school in a gas station and is
carrying on a tumultuous affair with an older married woman (Maggie Moore).

      Randy has only one pal at school, the equally outcast Frank (Nelson
Rodriguez). So when the pampered and privileged Evie (Nicole Ari Parker) enters
her life, things begin to look up. For Randy, it's love at first sight. For Evie,
it takes a while, although she is clearly intrigued.

      The film is pitched as a teen romantic comedy and when it sticks to the
trials and tribulations of dealing with first love, there's some genuine emotion
behind it. The problem is that Maggenti doesn't seem to trust the material
enough. While the two main characters are fully rounded, many of the secondary
parts veer dangerously close to caricature. It doesn't help that as a director,
Maggenti encourages the actors playing those roles to push too hard. The
last scenes, many played out at a motel where practically the entire cast
ends up, feel tacked on from another, more frenetic story.

      If it were not for the two leads,
would not be worth much of a look. Holloman, who has since
gone on to star in the Showtime series
THE L WORD, delivers a committed
and strong performance as the teen tomboy. Nicole Ari Parker, who had
a featured role in the Showtime series
SOUL FOOD, proves to be as potent.
The pair have a genuine chemistry that goes a long way toward making the
film watchable.

              Rating:                C
              MPAA Rating:        R for a strong sex scene involving teen girls,
                                            and for language and some drug use     
              Running time:       94 mins.
© 2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.