Teenage Girl Meets Adult Self, Disappointment Ensues, in We Go Way Back


We Go Way Back
Directed by Lynn Shelton
Opens April 29, ReRun Gastropub Theater

The 2006 debut of Seattle indie queen Lynn Shelton (My Effortless Brilliance, Humpday), this earnest, inventive micro-drama bounces gently from room-of-one’s-own brooding to sharp-eyed theater-company satire, ending up in a hand-holding metaspace that feels as lost as its heroine (Amber Hubert), a placid aspiring actress contemplating the sealed letters she wrote to her future self when she was 13. How Shelton’s everygirl went from a brave and inquisitive preteen to the dim-bulb sexual doormat she is in the present is a mystery; in the meantime, her untethered experimental-troupe director (Robert Hamilton Wright, in a guileless and hilarious performance) asks her to play Hedda Gabler, but do it in Norwegian and surrounded by an ever-growing mountain of potatoes. Eventually, the 13-year-old version (Maggie Brown) shows up in the flesh, and for all of the film’s preciousness (the letters are a coy invention, and the song interludes take up far too much real estate), the pungent notion of having your young-teen self gazing in horrified disappointment at the adult you’ve failed to become is as fresh a thematic undertow as it is disquieting.


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