See You Next Tuesday (2013)

See You Next Tuesday (which, btw, is a backronym for cunt – I had to google it when I was wondering about the title)
Director: Drew Tobia
Writer: Drew Tobia
Cast: Eleanore PientaDana EskelsonMolly PlunkKeisha Zollar
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Mona (Eleanore Pienta) is highly pregnant and pretty unstable. She is also completely unprepared for her child. When she loses her job and her apartment, she shows up at her sister Jordan’s (Molly Plunk) and her girlfriend Sylve’s (Keisha Zollar) door. Mona, Jordan and their mother May (Dana Eskelson) have a complicated relationship, to say the least and Jordan fears that by inviting Mona into her life and giving her shelter, she’ll have May back in it, too. But Sylve convinces her to try – and Mona leaves no stone unturned in none of their lives.

See You Next Tuesday is a very strange film and one that I feared would be way too exhausting (much like Heaven Knows What) or too hipster-y (much like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night). But to my surprise it worked really well for me, exactly because of its idiosyncracies.

see-you-next-tuesday

Just to be very clear about it: neither Mona, nor Jordan, nor May are particularly likeable. They are all pretty pathologic in their behavior and underneath the pathologies, they are not very kind, either. The only actual sane and nice person is Sylve (which makes it hard to understand why she would stay with Jordan, especially since Jordan is pretty racist and Sylve is black), who writes science fiction novels that I would really love to read (she talks about them briefly and I failed to write down exactly what she said directly after the film and a day later it was all gone apart from “black feminist scifi a lot like ??? but with more gore and decapitation”).

Despite the deeply problematic protagonists I wanted to watch them, I wanted to know more about them and I was entertained – and not in a laughing about them kind of way, or waiting to see them make it worse and worse for themselves, either.

see-you-next-tuesday1

The trick that kept the movie so entertaining were the characters (and maybe the almost complete lack of male characters). They are just fully realized people and not movie stereotypes. People you can empathize with, even if you don’t like or completely understand them. Tobia wrote a script that knows its characters inside and out, as do the actresses. And that is worth more than anything else, even worth more than the costume design that was at once incredibly awful and incredibly great.

The film isn’t perfect. Sometimes it goes on too long, sometimes it comes on a little too strong. The relationship between Jordan and Sylve remains a mystery. But I not only liked it more than I thought I would, I liked it, period.

see-you-next-tuesday2Summarizing: Give it a try. I could understand if you don’t like it, but maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised, like me.

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