It’s very rare to watch a coming of age film that truly makes you wonder, “what happens next?” In the case of the film, Remy & Arletta, a masterful take on what it’s like to be young and highly impressionable, writer Micaela Wittman drops us into a world that is not only highly familiar, but one that many can say they comprehend.
The film, which is taken from Wittman’s book of the same name and is directed by Arthur De Larroche, stars Wittman as Remy who is attempting to balance both her social life and a personal life which is riddled with moments of chaos. Much of said chaos comes from her mother Eilene (Amy Benedict) who struggles with alcohol abuse, but highly protective of Remy. Much of this is because of their religion (we will get into this later), but more than anything, we can see Remy battling something that many millennials deal with – being the parent to a parent.
Enter Arletta (Riley Quinn Scott), Remy’s longtime best friend who often helps keep Remy’s world from falling apart. Throughout the film, Arletta and her family’s home proves to be a safe haven for Remy – specifically in moments where we know that Remy is embarrassed by her mother’s abuse and alcoholism.
While much of the film is predictable, there are moments within it that offer a fresh take on what it’s like to be young and lost in translation. It’s also important to note that what makes the film great is how relatable much of the storyline is and how the writing in the film doesn’t over explain the issues that both Remy and Arletta face.
From the beginning of the film, you can tell that both actors have amazing chemistry, but beyond that, so many people can relate to having been in both Remy and Arletta’s shoes.
Looking at the turbulent life that Remy has, one might be able to say that they understand what it feels like to look at Arletta’s life and want what seems like a loving and inviting homelife where folks are able to just be. The desire for this becomes even more evident when we learn that Remy and her mother are studying to become Jehovah’s Witnesses, an organized religion that often puts parameters on what folks in the religion can and can’t do with others who aren’t a part of the organized religion.
In diving deeper into Remy’s world, there are multiple moments where you can see that she is in search of stability and for someone to love her without high expectations – something that both her mother and the religion only add to. Moreover, Remy, like most teens, goes searching for acceptance through her peers, only to find out that many of her (male) peers only see her for what she can offer them, often putting Remy in compromising positions.
However, throughout the film, Arletta can see that Remy’s in need of a confidant, and this is what makes the relationship between Remy and Arletta that much beautiful. Arletta can see past the facade that Remy tries to put on, often being the sounding board for so many of the things that Remy wants to do in the world.
But it’s not to say that Remy and Arletta don’t have their fair share of problems. From Remy lying about where she lives to the moments that we see Remy lie to Arletta about who she’s been hanging around – so much in this film is a reminder of how complicated it is to be a teenager – specifically, a queer teenager.
This is highlighted even more when Arletta begins to fall for Remy and the feelings are reciprocated. This creates a bit of tension in their relationship because Remy feels like she can’t be friends with someone who has feelings for them – leading the viewer to question what the future will be like for both Remy and Arletta’s friendship.
In all, this film really is an ode to the growing pains that many of us face when searching for who we are in the world and what many of us combat in becoming the person we want to be. If you like indie films that offer a fresh take on coming out – then this is definitely the film for you.
This year’s NewFest offers an embarrassment of queer riches
Read More in Entertainment
The Latest on INTO
Subscribe to get a twice-weekly dose of queer news, updates, and insights from the INTO team.
in Your Inbox