Metro Weekly

Hannah and the Hasbian

Reel Affirmations 2011

Review by Will O’Bryan

Rating: starstarstar (3 out of 5)
Sunday, 10/16/2011, 1:00 PM
Feature presentation, $20 at Navy Memorial Heritage Center

IT MIGHT MAKE a nice one-act play. A cinematic short could be even better. But as a feature film, even at only 72 minutes, Hannah and the Hasbian is a bit of a stretch.

The premise is simple: Three women live together. One is a roommate, two are ”soul mates.” That is, until one soul mate decides in switch-like fashion that she’s done with women and moving to men. Now we have three roommates.

Granted, the notion of women falling off the lesbian wagon is believable. Ellen DeGeneres will back you up on that. But at least Anne Heche had to good form to throw a dash of nuttiness in there to give the whole transition some depth. In Hannah we’ll have none of that.

Breigh, played with spunk by Matylda Buczko, dumps the formerly straight Hannah (Emily O’Brien-Brown) she seduced long ago, over breakfast, with plans to go man-hunting later that evening. The character who remains a roommate and straight throughout, Dinka (Mahalia Brown), is there to ensure that the film remains a comedy.

It’s a premise that would go down a lot easier if writer-director Gordon Napier had set it among college-age women. And Brown’s comic relief could be toned down a notch. When she’s deadpan, her delivery is biting and you want her to get her own spotlight. But when she engages, in what plays as aggressive ”spontaneous comic freak out,” laughter can easily switch to discomfort. Buczko and O’Brien-Brown bring what’s called for, particularly O’Brien-Brown and her expressive eyes.

When all is said and done, it will likely be hard for you to discern any point. Will Breigh remain a hasbian? Will Hannah be able to win her back? Will Dinka eventually need that fourth abortion? Who can say? Still, you will get at least a couple chuckles, and some of the soundtrack music is really quite good.

Hannah and the Hasbian
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Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.