Sunday, February 19, 2017

Almost Adults: Movie Review


   


Funny, relatable and enjoyable.
On one hand, Almost Adults is a drama about accepting and voicing your sexuality. On the other hand, it’s a comedy about college-aged girls moving on in their life. The co-mingling of the two genres can bog down the film when it becomes too grand for itself, but it is still a sweet, funny drama about two best friends - one a novice lesbian, one heart-broken over her ex - and how that plays into their friendship. 2016

Directed by: Sarah Rotella

Screenplay by: Adrianna DiLonardo

Starring: Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman

The two friends are Cassie (Natasha Negovanlis) and Mackenzie (Elise Bauman). The girls are very close, Cassie crawls into bed with Mack after she broke up with long-term boyfriend Matthew, Mack lets her, and then the two will argue about who has to get up and make pancakes. The girls are very sweet and funny together. Now we move on to how the girls are different. Cassie has dinner with her parents to admit she broke up with Matthew, and her parents are devastated and their reaction can be summed up as: "he’s perfect, you’re incompetent, what is wrong with you?" Her parents and the writing for her parents was definitely over-the-top. We are all familiar with that type of response, but if subtler, perhaps Cassie could have been a more interesting character.

Things get a lot more interesting with Mackenzie. Mackenzie has dinner with her parents to admit to them that she is gay. They make a joke about disowning her because in reality they already knew and were so happy for her. Mack hated this response, she wanted her parents to be concerned, but proud – the more typical coming-out experience. The fact that Mack hated her parents’ energetic approval was annoying. It was of course played for laughs, but there are so many other great qualities about Mack and more important friendship issues to get to.

The ultimate conflict in the film is that Mack hasn’t told Cassie yet that she’s gay – she just doesn’t know how you tell the one person who knows everything about you. The best parts of this film involve the character of Mack and fitting her sexuality into her life. Bauman is beautiful, has this fantastic mix of self-deprecating humour and overtly-self-confident humour (not an easy mix to pull off but she does it fabulously), and is adorably clueless about how to be gay. She makes this film a must watch for any twenty-something girl out there discovering their sexuality.

Mack’s big reveal keeps getting delayed because Cassie has many “where is my life going?” self-involved break-downs, which aren’t as funny as they are intended to be. For the most part Cassie and Mack’s friendship is handled really well throughout the film, but beware that two-thirds into it, Mack starts developing Cassie’s “where is my life going?” self-involved break-downs, and we are temporarily stuck with two annoying girls.

Ultimately it all speaks to how real these girls are. They definitely have their faults, and either because of or in spite of those faults, you will see yourself in them. I have rarely seen a character like Mack on the big screen and never one so engagingly charismatic as Bauman has made her. Like the lead characters, Almost Adults has its faults, but it’s funny and relatable and enjoyable.


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