Strange and Fantastic Tales of the 20th Century is a look back at the weirdest, most memorable, and most off center movies of the 20th century. From head turning horror to oddball science fiction, this column examines the films that will leave a lasting impression for centuries to come.
The 90’s were an interesting time in my life. I went from being a dumb little kid to dumb teenager to dumb college student in the span of a decade. The 90’s also happened to be an interesting time for independent film. I was starting to explore video stores on my own, renting movies outside of the regular family interests. Sure, a lot of it was horror, but some of it was kind of artsy.
Was I a budding film lover? I don’t know, maybe I just wanted to see naked people? In any case, the 90’s is where I stumbled upon films with unconventional plotting, offbeat characters, and unforgettable stories. Sundance Film Festival season is upon us and in that spirit, I present this week’s strange and fantastic tale The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love.
Maria Maggenti’s romantic comedy was a real standout at the time. In 1995, seeing a story of two girls in love truly would be incredible as it would be a long time before LGBTQ+ stories made their way into the mainstream. The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love spins the tale of Randy, a teenage lesbian who lives with her aunt, aunt’s girlfriend, and aunt’s ex-girlfriend. Maggenti’s story is funny and warm with tongue in cheek humor.
During a dinner time squabble, Randy’s aunt admonishes the group and says “Let’s eat like the normal family we are.” And yet there is so much sincerity in this scene. Randy, played by Laurel Holloman (The L Word), is completely comfortable in her skin. While she is a bit of a loner at work, she has her people. She can count on her friend Frank, her co-worker Regina, and even her ex-married girlfriend Wendy. Randy’s family supports her and encourages her to be her own person.
Randy is a pretty happy teen whose life is derailed when she meets Evie, played by Nicole Ari Parker (And Just Like That). Evie is a straight girl who is intellectual, loves classical music, and poetry. Through the practice of letter writing and note passing (it’s the 90’s) a bond is formed.
The film excels at showing the love between the characters. Even within the families, The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love, reflects the respect and tenderness between the characters. The film originally premiered at Sundance in 1995 and was re-released at this year’s festival. While the film is completely of its time, complete with a soundtrack featuring Bikini Kill and Velocity Girl, it’s a story that is as relevant today as it was then. Funny and honest, “The True Adventures of Two Girls in Love is a story about independence and individuality. Put on some baggy shorts and an oversized vest and check out The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love.
The Sundance Film Festival is online January 20- January 30. Tickets can be purchased and a full lineup can be found here.
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