Mormon Artist

My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

Writer, Director: Daryn Tufts
Producers: Rick McFarland & Alyssa Milano

It’s a romantic comedy claiming to be everything every other romantic comedy has ever claimed to be—but then in a rare moment of cinema sustainability actually lives up to it. Girl? Boy? True Love? My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend has got it all and then one-ups all the rest with a story finally worthy of both romantic and comedy to its title.

In a twist true to the film’s tagline, this is the story of a girl who meets her one true love…twice. Alyssa Milano plays the girl, a classy sass named Jesse whose confidence opens a conversation with boy Ethan (Christopher Gorham), a writer with no publications to his credit and yet another rejection letter in his hand. He’s on the brink of ultimate surrender when Jesse’s abrupt arrival plays muse to his artist and life starts looking up. Pocketing her number and promising to call, Ethan exits Act One and the scene is set for another hour of the usual silver screen romanticizing until—mere moments after finally finding the perfect guy for her—in walks Mr. Right.

Contrasting Ethan’s nerd-passion and sweet sentimentality, Troy (Michael Landes) arrives on the scene with more suave than all fifteen seasons of The Bachelor combined. A successful ad exec with all elements of tall, dark, and handsome, he is Prince Charming personified and proceeds to sweep Jesse right off her feet with every expected accoutrement: roses, candlelit dinners, afternoons of golf at the club and evenings at souped-up soirees. Jumping between scenes of Jesse’s dates with both boyfriends, it seems a clear-cut win for Troy in the game of love—and yet Ethan isn’t about to give in either. So now you’re thinking this is just another predictable write-off. Well, that’s what you think.

The ensuing dilemma and ultimate happily ever after make My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend exactly what it proposes to be: the sweet fluff of romance for the perfect Friday night escape. For those looking for a few hours of light entertainment and a sugary aftertaste, this film fits the bill. It’s endearing, engaging, and, though not thematically Mormon, espouses solid values and appropriate humor, all providing for a classic, clean story that epitomizes the feel-good. From the Latter-day Saint filmmaker’s perspective it is a triumph: well-shot, well-written, big-name actors. By all accounts it’s a movie for the masses made by a Mormon. But unlike more mainstream fare of the same genre, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend will leave you with a little more than mere entertainment. A romantic comedy with twist enough to add some real intelligence, this film also gives you something to think about.

And that, for me, is what bumped this story up to A+ stuff. To watch Jesse caught between two equally intriguing loves but left with only one choice was crash-course in What Really Matters 101. Being able to contrast the typical Troy story with the more realistic and haphazard Ethan plot seemed to me an excellent study in what romance has become today—and maybe what it really should be. In a world defined by vampire romances and Hollywood’s monopoly on what’s hot and who’s not, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend is a refreshing return to the realm of a much more edifying reality. It’s a gentle reminder of the difference between reel love and, well, real love, what sells and what stays. It’s Friday night fodder for some serious Saturday thought that, in my house, spilled over into Sunday afternoon discussion. Romantic comedy going where no romantic comedy has gone before? Yes, please. ❧

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