Tru Loved’s Utopian Multiculturalism Almost Flattens Film’s Inherent Fluffiness


Writer-director Stewart Wade’s Tru Loved is a kitschier incarnation of an after-school special: hokey and simplistic, but also gawkily sweet-natured. Recently relocated from San Francisco to the suburbs, Tru (Najarra Townsend) and family—composed of her two lesbian mothers and two gay fathers—are introduced via faux-’50s sitcom stylings, with the movie temporarily switching from candy-color to black-and-white as cast members trot out to jaunty music. This ironic impulse co-exists somewhat uncomfortably with Tru Loved’s sincerity. Drawn to the newcomer’s outsider edge, high-school quarterback Lodell (Matthew Thompson) strikes up a romance with Tru, only to confess to his closeting shortly thereafter. (The film could’ve been titled, But I’m a Football Player.) “I didn’t say I’d be your Katie Holmes,” she protests, before reluctantly agreeing to provide social cover for Lo by pretending to be his girlfriend. Matters get complicated when Tru spearheads a gay-straight alliance club with openly out Walter (Tye Olson) and starts secretly dating straight dreamboat Trevor (Jake Abel). Fluffiness aside, the film’s multicultural microcosm does have a giddying effect: Tru Loved offers a utopic vision of inclusiveness you wish the world would embrace.

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