Welcome back to Watching Lesbian Classics, AKA an ongoing experiment where one woman tests her threshold for pain. We left off on Jennifer’s Body, a film that perfectly captures the gay experience of two women destroying each other in their quest for love, and for a brief moment, my love for cinema returned. But I didn’t know what waited in the shadows for me. I never do.
As usual, I crowdsourced for our next movie, and Laneia, executive editor of Autostraddle and supposed friend, suggested The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love starring Laurel Holloman from The L Word because it was “cute” and that, “This movie might be the one reason I didn’t hate Tina to the level that I could/should have.” What I did to Laneia to deserve this kind of setup job, well, I guess I’ll never really know. May this review be my first step towards forgiveness.
We open with Laurel Holloman as “Randy” making out with an older married woman in a gas station bathroom. This, by the way, is the most interesting thing that will happen in this entire movie. Let that settle in.
Then Randy dazzles down the street in rollerblades. We come to learn that, to Randy, rollerblading is not a hobby or sport, but an invitation to push boundaries. She rollerblades on gravel, grass, old wood – really anywhere.
She describes herself as “rough around the edges,” and based on her rollerblading style, I believe her. She doesn’t think about the future and is a live in the moment kind of gal. Tite.
Randy lives with her Aunt Rebecca and her aunt’s girlfriend in a house where the hours do not follow a cyclical pattern, as the only time is supper time. They’re enjoying a nice family meal when suddenly the doorbell rings and Randy SCREAMS that she’ll get the door even though the two people who need to know this information are sitting less than an arm’s length away. If I was sitting at a table with someone who screamed as loud as Laurel Holloman does in this scene that they were going to get the door, I’d make sure they were okay before letting them get up from the table because perhaps their vocal chords had burst.
Randy opens the door to Lena, another alt-looking white lady who has a pair of boxing gloves slung over her shoulder, and whom the camera pans allllllll the way down if you know what I mean. (I don’t.) Anyway, for as much attention as Lena’s entrance has been given, we don’t hear about her again for the rest of the movie.
Randy’s in high school – which based on her full grown adult appearance makes sense – but isn’t great at it. Her friend, Frank, reminds her that it’s okay not to be good at something, and that you should think positively despite it. Uh, wow, millennial much?????
Randy is persecuted at school for being gay. When she passes three of her classmates, they start whispering about Randy’s home life saying, “They’re, like, all lesbians there.” Then one of the girls goes, “Just goes to show you.” Full stop. Naturally, another one’s like, “Just goes to show you what?” and then the first one follows up with, “I don’t know. Whatever.” This made it into a script!
Randy’s aunt owns the gas station where we first met Randy making out in the best, most sanitary place to make out with someone, and one day a woman (future note: it’s a teen) stops in to get her tires filled. We find out it’s Evie, a classmate of Randy’s! Randy helps fills her tires because Randy wears cargo pants and kicks tires whenever she sees them. Evie really appreciates Randy pumping up her tires. Randy’s like, “It’s whatever.”
Evie asks if Randy goes to Wallace High School, instead of what I would ask Randy, which is if she was an established realtor around town. Randy’s like, “You mean Wallace PRISON?” Wow, if there was a superlative for Chillest By Far in Randy’s and Evie’s high school year book for teens and not adults, it would have to go to Randy ferrrr sureeee.
At school, Evie is being interrogated by her maybe-boyfriend about why she’s pushing him away. She responds with a series of big-picture questions instead of addressing his question at all, which I think is a great move.
A prosecuting lawyer: I’m going to ask this plainly: Did you launder millions of dollars through the mattress chain store Mattress Firm for the Russian government?
Me on the stand: Can any of us say we really know another person?
Randy is not just bad at the academic part of school, she’s bad at school in general. She’s been late so many times that one of her teachers is like, “No, thank you,” when Randy tries to attend a particular class, and so Randy runs into the bathroom, throws her books on the FLOOR, and kicks in every stall.
Randy finds Evie in the bathroom. “All the good stuff goes down there.” – The writer of this movie. Evie is lamenting over her boyfriend and wondering why some things in life are so hard. Like, isn’t there a scenario in which it’s “love, not obligation,” Evie wonders? Randy agrees. Then Randy says, “Try going out with a married woman.” Evie’s like “Huh?” and doesn’t ask any more questions, even though truly what a thing to drop into a conversation without any clarification.
Might as well have a cigarette about it, right?
Wrong. They’re caught smoking, and after a trip to the principal’s office, they’re in detention together. They’re stealing looks, and passing notes, and showing each other their doodles, and giggling. Now they’re bonded, Randy says. That’s an entire scene dedicated to the high school detention experience for you.
After detention, Evie asks if Randy needs a ride. Then as if she’s Viola Davis delivering a devastating one-liner about the hardships of life, Randy, re: her rollerblades, says: “They’ve been sticking a little bit, the wheels.”
In the car Evie asks if the married woman thing is real. Randy confirms and asks if that weirds Evie out. It doesn’t weird Evie out, winkie face. Evie says she’ll see Randy at school. “Yeah, definitely,” Randy says, which is one of those phrases that when said out loud as a sign off echoes in your head at least 60 decibels louder than it actually happens.
Wendy, the married bathroom woman, visits Randy at the gas station. Wendy acknowledges that as a 27-year-old woman, she should probably cool it/stop it with Randy’s 17-year-old body. Randy’s fine with it because she’s explains that she has a girl. Oh, does she? If meeting someone, seeing them again briefly, and then signing off in an embarrassing way equals having a girl, then I’ve dated A LOT of women. Wendy storms off with this news and starts the “oh, have fun…” game where you name the bad parts of what someone THINKS is good about their current situation that you don’t approve of. Except Wendy’s like, “Have fun enjoying the movies, sharing straws, and gazing at each other!” and it’s like… you do not get that game.
Evie is at a diner with her “friends” and they ask if she’s hanging out with Randy. Evie’s like, “What are you, the KGB?” and someone very matter a factly goes:
Ahaha. Okay! My apologies.
Laurel is leaving Evie a note to tell her she’s locker 718 and that she should come by the “old gas station.” After ignoring that she even got the letter for days, Evie takes Randy up on the old gas station offer. She takes a look at Randy’s oversized t-shirt and jeans and goes:
Ouch. Seems homophobic.
Except Randy does know something about engine repair. *when the stereotype holds up* As Randy tinkers around under the hood, Evie says, “I got your note,” and cruelly waits for a response from Evie. Just gonna present you with the confirmation that I ignored you for days – care to respond?
Good thing Randy is so badass, otherwise this might be awkward. As a silent peace offering, Evie, a high schooler, gives Randy, another high schooler, The Leaves Of Grass. Then, music completely off the table at this point, Randy says she likes Billie Holiday. Okay, let’s just go ahead and start naming things! Weather, in general: love the variety. Travel? Big fan.
Randy tries to read her Walt Whitman book out loud to her aunt, and I’m the aunt when she’s like, not a chance. Randy takes her book up to her room instead. While reading and smoking a J, Randy goes, “God, this is intense!” Fuuuuck, dude. Also, what is Laurel’s accent? Arkansanadian? Where are we supposed to be here?
Later, Randy admits out loud after three days of knowing Evie that she’s in love with her. Because of this, now Randy only talks through her Walt Whitman book, AKA in riddles.
Evie and Randy go to a diner. When Randy says Evie’s sheltered for not knowing why they can’t hold hands in the diner, Evie says, “Unshelter me.” “Unshelter Me” sounds like a lesbian scrapbook banger. Feeling empowered by the hand holding that happens between them, Randy asks the server for “a Mick,” AKA “a Michelob” alcoholic beer. The server is rightly like, “I’m sorry, what?” and Randy shakes her head like a muppet to be like DOY A MICHELOB ALCOHOLIC BEER. When the server refuses to give her a beer for not having an ID (and I like to think for saying “a Mick”), Randy asks for “a cup of joe.” Lady.
Later, continuing this cool streak, Randy is practicing how to ask Evie over for dinner with variations of, “Hey Evie, check it out, dinner at my house.” And check it out Evie does.
*Pasta for dinner!!!!! *(my eyes are closing)
Evie is convinced Randy’s aunt doesn’t like her because she’s black. Randy is convinced that that’s not the case. They start chewing gum. I hear tires screeching in the background and think that maybe a heist on the horizon, anything to jazz this story up a bit, but they’re still just chewing gum together. Then they kiss.
Evie goes home to write in her girl-nal. Randy goes home to read poetry. Now they’re talking about children. High school. “Do you think we’ll still know each other when we’re 30?”
Evie goes to the gas station to ask Randy on a trip for her birthday at the exact mome Wendy comes by to apologize to Randy for her husband. (He knows about Wendy and Randy and went a lil’ tough guy on Randy.) Awkwardardardardardardard. After Wendy leaves, Evie asks Randy if she’s in love with her. “No, I love you,” Randy says, and with a rev of an engine in the background I pray that it’s a Thelma and Louise style crash into this scene.
Evie is being grilled by her friends about her saying she’s in love with Randy. When Evie says, “I don’t give a shit about the prom,” one of her friends says, “You’re ruining your life!” Ahaha, yes – are you even friends in a high school movie if you don’t shame someone into thinking prom is the pinnacle of life? Evie’s friends “break up” with her.
Imagine this: someone asks if you wanted to go to a diner in the afternoon and watch high school non-drama unfold and you can’t leave. That’s this movie.
Evie’s mom is going away for Evie’s 18th birthday weekend and I think I know why Evie is doing her best to shoo her mom out of the house so quickly. To do it with Randy.
When the screen cuts to the two of them on the floor, I think, “This better not be of the two of them looking at old pictures of Evie,” and, of course, it is. Oh, good, I was wondering if there was food in the main fridge and the freezer downstairs, and now I know there is thanks to an entire scene and conversation dedicated to it.
Now they’re smoking a joint. Now they’re high. The only good thing that’s happened in this movie is when they’re cooking while still high and Evie says, “Oh, this is a really good cook book by Antoine,” and Randy’s like, “Who’s Antoine?” Lol.
Now they’re high AND drunk after breaking into Evie’s mom’s wine cabinet. In this vulnerable moment, Evie reveals all of her friends left her today, to which Randy responds, “Yeah, well, I’m not going to graduate.” Both then agree they’re stoned. Now they’re playing the “close your eyes and tell me when I get to your elbow” game.
Ah, yes, now they kiss and continue into bed to engage in the famed crossed-legged lesbian embrace. While renaissance music plays? I feel so bad for people whose only content about women on women sex was this scene being scored by a Medieval Times busker.
Evie’s mom comes home and she’s pissed. The general consensus is: the house is a mess, you drank my wine, it’s a girl, I’m going to kill you. Evie and Randy leave together to a motel.
Randy calls Frank for help, and he, dressed like Mario, tells her she’s in BIG trouble with her aunts for failing school.
By the way, what do these three women do that they’re able to stand in front of the phone all day? They’ve literally had one customer at their gas station this entire movie, and she was getting free air in her tires – how can they afford to live in a house?
Evie has to figure out what she’s going to say to her mom and I have to figure out what, exactly, I would be willing to do instead of watch this movie. An hour in the dentist’s waiting room. Drink as many La Croixs as it would take to fill a bathtub in one sitting. Make a snowman with my bare hands out of the snow that’s been icing over for weeks. Walk across an oiled kitchen floor carrying a latte that I’m bringing to a person I don’t want to disappoint or embarrass myself in front of and also the kitchen is super long. Listen to someone try out every ringtone on their phone on a public bus. These and other scenarios.
Now everyone’s at the motel looking for Evie and Randy? It’s now a hostage situation. Randy makes Evie swear that she’ll love her forever on Leaves of Grass before they go outside.
And now this:
Laneia, my angel. Please accept this apology.