Two 4 One Breaks New Ground

Move over Ben Affleck and Julia Roberts, the Canadian filmmaking world would like to thank

you for solidifying conventions for the romantic comedy genre, so Two 4 One can break those conventions into a million pieces.

This progressive look at real-life love is refreshing and accessible: a movie about a transgendered Canadian in which an offbeat backdrop is conspicuously missing. Filmed in the serene coastal suburbs of Victoria, BC, this post-modern rom-com is touching and new.

Two 4 One puts the relationships of transgendered and queer people in the spotlight. Some are uncomfortable with the type of love portrayed in the movie — the kind Hollywood doesn’t deem worthy of mainstream entertainment — but Maureen Bradley, the film’s writer/director, is pushing the envelope.

The film demystifies the transgendered experience with a charmingly capricious narrative; its singularity makes it compelling. The film asks us not to fit people and love into neat little boxes, and to really start living, and letting live.

Human complexities make us interesting and lovable, and at this point I’d rather have a kick in the head than watch another You’ve Got Mail or Bridget Jones’s Diary. Let’s face it; we’ve covered the pretty-guys-and-gals-falling-in-love-under-troublesomecircumstances thing.

Adam (Gavin Crawford from This Hour Has 22 Minutes) and Miriam (Naomi Snieckus from CBC’s Mr. D) play a convincingly unlikely couple dealing with an astronomically unlikely problem. Adam is a long way down the road in transitioning to a man, and his ex-girlfriend Miriam is trying to get pregnant with a donor’s sperm and a syringe.

Miriam turns to Adam moral support as she tries to get pregnant.

She gets a lot more than that. The day she inseminates herself, they wind up in bed together, and both end up pregnant.

Adam’s experiences dealing with the medical and financial aspects of his physical gender transition shine light on the logistics of the healthcare system. His experience also points directly at the problem of student debt. Although Canada prides itself on acceptance, the fine print in our support systems often leaves little breathing room for individual, or unusual, circumstances.

Bradley asks tough questions and Adam’s situation reminds us that social structures support people in some circumstances, whilst creating roadblocks for people in others.

Introducing this to the mainstream by way of the big screen is a sign that we are evolving. The progressive womb that is Victoria, B.C. is a great place to start; British Columbia is often a trendsetting province. Only when social structures reflect the truth that there is no “normal”, will all people be supported and accepted.

An honest characterization of a true-to-life Canadian and an important redefinition of social norms, this film is as vulnerably sweet as it is bitingly brave.

The Yukon Film Society rolls out the red carpet for Two 4 One cast members Gavin Crawford, Gabrielle Rose, and Naomi Sneickus, as well as director Maureen Bradley and producer Daniel Hogg. They will be present for the Available Light Film Festival Opening Gala screening on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre. 

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