Sapphic Cinema: “Almost Adults” Should be at the Top of Your Netflix Queue

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Almost Adults is the lesbian-themed movie I wish had existed back when I was in my early twenties. Written by Adrianna DiLonardo and directed by Sarah Rotella of The Gay Women Channel and starring Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman, Almost Adults is a coming out and coming of age story with the deep bond of friendship at its center. Now don’t worry, I’m not going to give any spoilers here, but I would like to point out why this film is such a wonderful addition to your gay and lesbian Netflix queue.

First and foremost, we get to see a lesbian protagonist experience the very real challenge of coming out and the internal conflict that presents without her entire story arch resting on that struggle. While the challenges of coming out to her family (in a hilarious way, but you’ll have to watch the movie to see why) are there, and the challenges of being a new “baby gay” are real, they don’t derail her life. We watch her take those first awkward steps into the world of dating, but without the gay angst most coming out stories focus on so heavily. It’s refreshing. There are other things going on in this girl’s world, like her relationship with her best friend. Life changes happen, and the girls will either grow apart or grow closer.

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What is handled so flawlessly in this film is the truth concerning being gay and having a straight best friend. Because in reality, no matter how close you are, there are very real differences and life challenges you will each face.  There is a poignant scene where Mackenzie and her GBF are testing out her newly acquired “gaydar,” leaving her best friend, Cassie, feeling a bit left out. It’s all a part of the process.

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Taking her first steps toward finding love, Mackenzie discovers what lesbian dating and culture is all about, and it comes with some hilarious discoveries as well as some awkwardness, including what’s  known as the “Tumblr girlfriend,” which apparently is a real thing. Who knew?

She faces rejection, she gets hurt, and then she finds her way. Throughout it all, she and her best friend learn that a lasting friendship takes work, but it’s all worth it – friendship is worth it.

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Almost Adults is streaming right now on Netflix.