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Film Review: The most fun I've ever had with my pants on

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Image: funpantsmovie.com

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Two girls on a road trip through the US-American Southwest, one bold and the other one shy, both on a journey that is more important than its destination. So far, so Thelma & Louise. The similarities end here, however, because Andy (Drew Denny, who also wrote and produced this semi-autobiographical film) is joined by her childhood friend Liv (Sarah Hagyfrom) on a mission to scatter Andy's late father's ashes from California to Arizona, New Mexico to West Texas. While on the road, Liv helps Andy to learn how to grieve for her father and Andy helps Liv to unlearn parts of her propriety. And when they finally reach the end of their road-trip, they realise that they have helped each other to come to terms with growing up.

Overall, the movie provides a touching portrayal of friendship, and the theme of the good girl teaming up with the bad girl is surely as old as girl friendships themselves. As individuals, Liv and Andy are polar opposites: Liv is shy where Andy is daring; prim and straight where Andy is happily queer. This, too, is a familiar theme that lends their friendship a dynamic momentum of trust and daring, loyalty and jealousy. It is a story well told and well acted, for Drew Denny and Sarah Hagyfrom succeed in bringing their characters' strengths and insecurities to life in an almost painful reminiscence of young adult life. It is also a story about loss and grief, and here lies the greatest strength of Denny's storytelling (both as a writer and an actor), because she navigates these delicate and desperate emotions with great care and nuance. Andy, in particular, is utterly convincing as a character.

As befits a road movie, the setting is more than mere background, and the vast landscapes provide cues for conversations and memories, and for a fantastically shot firework shoot-off in the Grand Canyon. The film is gorgeous to watch and to listen to, with a killer soundtrack that becomes as much an element of the storytelling as the road itself. Thoroughly enjoyable.

The Most Fun I've Ever Had with my Pants On will be playing as part of the Inside Out | LGBT Film Festival (May 23 - June 2) in Toronto on June 1, 2013 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 2, 9:30 pm.


Image: funpantsmovie.com

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