I like a good play on words. But I didn’t cue up Tru Love for its wit. Instead I looked at the hour twenty-seven run-time and thought, “I can handle this – a nice little palate cleanser between episodes of ‘House of Cards’ and ineffective job hunting.” Little did I know (and how is it always so little in these cases?) that my experience would balloon into a numbingly dragged-out two hour soap fest, replete with healthy pauses for Google research (yes – the movie was made in Canada!), harried text messages to out-of-town friends seeking tax counsel, and general existential crisis about mortality and feelings of otherness. Some of these ponderings were related to the film.
Tru Love is the story of a noncommittal, late-thirties lesbian named Tru looking to connect. Despite her mild Canadian manner and conservative bang n’ bob tresses, life hasn’t always been easy. Orphaned at twelve, banished for homosexual activity at fifteen and a cutter in her early twenties, she’s got a shit-ton of baggage and she likes to work it out on whatever warm body floats her way, although from my perspective her sex life seemed to mainly entail waking up in different pairs of pajamas with other frumpily dressed bedfellows. Sample (fully-clothed) pillow talk: “I had a great time Jenny.” “Jenny? It’s Jamie.” Crazy Tru. When will she learn that life isn’t just about casual sex and comfy pants? IT’S ONLY ABOUT COMFY PANTS. But enough about me.
Enter Alice, a beautiful widower and mom to uptight pixie-coiffed lawyer Suzanne. Suzanne and Tru are “old friends” and mysteriously Tru has a key to her “old friend’s” apartment. Meet-cute time: Suzanne’s gotta work, Alice has to get in, and Tru’s got buckets of time to open doors – and aged, mourning-driven hearts. Mom and daughter-surrogate likey lots at first sight and embark on a rollercoaster courtship soundtracked by the Edith Piaf Pandora station, with plenty of red wine to lubricate the May-December implications. Cut to the quick, Suzanne doesn’t trust Tru with Mama (spoiler alert: THIS FILM DOES CONTAIN INTERNALIZED HOMOPHOBIA) and complications ensue. In between, there are lots of epic ice drift takes, Alice talks to her dead husband AND gets winked at by a hot bartender wearing a “Pussy Whisperer” tee-shirt, and Tru proves herself a culinary genius by creating a stir-fry out of frozen fish sticks and mac n’ cheese.
Things don’t get real heavy until Suzanne finds Alice and Tru post-coitus on Mom’s B-Day/last night in town. After the off-screen coupling (BOO) we’re at least left with the pleasant feeling that this couple might triumph, despite grumpy, meddling Su and a twenty-five year age gap. Alas, Tru Love couldn’t just let me be with a little innocuous Nova Scotia night music, instead resorting to surprise death to drive home the point that, as Alice warns us early on, life goes very quickly. So quickly it begs the question: would this evening have been better spent with Olympia Dukakis’s turn in GLBT-themed gem-in-the-rough Cloudburst? Only tomorrow night will tell. Stay tuned for more senior citizen, north of the border Sapphic hijinks here on Homoflix. I really think we’re on to something. Or at the very least, regurgitating this plot description gave me some temporary relief from the three grand I owe the IRS. G’night!