Labels are extremely double-edged. On one hand, they can provide much needed representation for marginalised minorities, groups and communiites, such as Blacks, LGBT or a specific nationality abroad. On the other hand, it can generate an expectation, and easily disappoint when certain criteria are not met. Such is the case with I Love you Both, which is being marketed as an LGBT film. The title itself – accompanied by the picture of two siblings – suggests that there is an ingenious homosexual romance. In reality, the LGBT topic is very secondary.
I Love you Both tells the story of Donnie (played by the director Doug Archibald himself) and his twin sister Krystal (played by his sibling Kristin Archibald, who is his twin in real life), who are smitten with the same man, the good-looking and bisexual Andy (Lucas Neff). But the focus of the film is not the romance, and there are no picante and risqué moments. Instead, the relationship between the two doting twins is the central pillar about the movie. This is a movie about fraternal love, which will come as a disappointment to LGBT fans hoping for sassy gay humour, antics, sex and aesthetics. But this does not make I Love You Both a bad movie. Quite the opposite: this a very warm, convincing and funny movie.
The romcom genre has become very hackneyed and trite, and finding a new and effective angle can be very difficult. Yet the first-time director comes up with a refreshing twist: twins of different sexes in love with the same person. He uses the well-established formulas for the genre : a touch of screwball, silly jokes, flat characters, fun indie or pop music, mellow dialogues and subtle of twists of fate. The film is never cheap and vulgar, and it will keep you hooked and smiling throughout.
You will enter Donnie and Krystal’s private space, and work out how they maintain their warmth and respect towards each other at the face of adversity. Their caring and non-intrusive parents are present throughout, providing the occasional obtuse attempt at parental guidance. But it’s the director’s gentle hand at portraying every day hurdles that the twins have to overcome that makes this movie special. Don’t expect high-octane action, just settle in for the balmy and refreshing.
Ultimately, I Love You Both is a movie about fraternal love, and a touching tribute that the director pays to his very own sister. In fact, the film started off under the title Quarter-Life Crisis during its crowdfunding campaign, revealing indeed that a battle of sexes or sexualities was never intended to be the the centrepiece of the story.
I Love You Both is showing as part of the BFI Flare LGBT Film Festival – click here for more information about the event. The film has commercial potential, and DMovies hazards a guess that it could reach an independent cinema near you later in the year. Just follow us on Twitter or Facebook and we will keep you update. You can watch the film teaser below, where the director explains that this is a film about the relationship between two “co-dependent twins”: