Metro Weekly

To Each Her Own

Reel Affirmations 2009

Review by Doug Rule

Rating: starstarstarstar (4 out of 5)
Sunday, 10/18/2009, 5:00 PM
Feature presentation, $10 at Flashpoint

“I TOLD YOU not to play that sport with her in the first place. Do you want your daughter to grow up to be a dyke?”

The sport is softball. And a prudish, traditional mother is angry at her husband’s tolerance of her daughter Jess’s non-feminine behavior. Thanks to her overbearing mother’s constant homophobic admonitions, not to mention the conservatism of her small town Jess does not in fact grow up to be a dyke. At least not right away. Rather, she marries her high school sweetheart Trevor with plans to start a family. And then she meets Casey, a lesbian landscaper who asks Jess out on a coffee date. Soon enough, the two develop an adulteress affair that Jess describes as a ”profound, surreal experience.” You know, exactly the way love is supposed to be.

It’s not until nearly halfway through director Heather Tobin’s debut feature that talk turns to whether Jess will leave Trevor and commit to Casey. It’s not easy for Jess to shed her deeply ingrained homophobia, and there’s certainly no easy way to resolve the situation, even after her husband and father reveal acceptance of gay relationships. In fact, Trevor is the most accepting straight husband a lesbian could ever have.

Tobin’s debut feature is entertaining, even if it resorts to a few stereotypes — the hopelessly close-minded mother, the heedlessly slutty gay man who is Casey’s co-worker — and even if its plot is largely predictable. Hannah Hogan as Jess and Tracy Rae as Casey both give captivating performances. The drama builds to an explosive, satisfying climax, but even so, there’s still no easy or obvious resolution. To Each Her Own carries several messages worth repeating, however, most all voiced by Casey. Its guiding motto: ”Where’s the fun if no risk?”

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Shelf Wood
To Each Her Own
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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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