Austin Film Festival Review: Almost Adults

Two friends grapple with relationships in this snarky charmer

Continuing in the latest (and greatest) trend in queer film, Almost Adults is not your typical lesbian movie. Written and directed by Adrianna DiLonardo and Sarah Rotella, the creators of YouTube’s The Gay Women Channel, this coming-of-age comedy is ultimately the story of best friends, growing up, and making room.

Mac (Elise Bauman) and Cassie (Natasha Negovanlis) are the ideal BFFs: they spoon, they split one drink with two straws, and they binge on carbs while finishing each other’s sentences. The fact that one of them is coming to terms with her queerness has little to do with their friendship – neither is pining after the other here. Yet, in the way that life-altering realizations change you, it does complicate their relationship.

While being a queer film at heart, Almost Adults does not exclude itself from straight audiences. In fact, for anyone (or at least any woman) who’s had a sisterly best friendship, the film is obnoxiously relatable. During their back-and-forth, tangent-filled conversations, Mac and Cassie effortlessly convince viewers of their bond, and watching them grow apart as they grow into adulthood is slightly gut-wrenching. Though both girls struggle with romantic heartbreak over the course of 90 minutes, it’s clear (and true to life) that the most difficult breakups can often be the platonic ones. Luckily, DiLonardo’s script manages to keep the film light with a good helping of snark embedded into each scene.

Levi (Justin Gerhard), the girls’ gay best friend – or GBF (is this something people actually say?!) as they refer to him – gives the film another layer of well-done sass and subtle gender-bending. One scene has him dressed like a typical 2016 hipster, the next has him rocking eyeliner and heels without missing a beat. Gerhard brings another legitimate slice of LGBTQ culture to the film.

Shot in just 11 days with an “85% female-driven” cast and crew (according to the film’s producer, Rebecca Swift), Almost Adults manages to be both poignant and funny. Is it a life-altering movie? Probably not, but that doesn’t make it any less relatable or enjoyable to watch.

Almost Adults screens again Wednesday, Oct. 19, 9:30pm, Hideout Theatre.

The Austin Film Festival runs Thu., Oct. 13, through Thu., Oct. 20. See for schedule and info. Follow our continuing coverage of the fest at www.austinchronicle/austin-film-festival.

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