"Mary Marie" is a short, undeniably indie film (72 minutes) brought to us by duo Alana Kearns-Green and Alexandra Roxo. It purports to explore the bonds of intimacy between 2 young women who spend a last summer in their recently passed mother's home. As they relive their girlhood, they begin to reshape their relationship as sisters.
Whether the line between sisterly friendship and romantic liaison are first drawn and then crossed is up to the viewer to interpret. For example, the opening sequence features our two heroines, Mary and Marie, carving their names into a tree. It is a moment that can either be interpreted as one of reckless immaturity or of our heroines caught up by passion. The same can be said of the several bath scenes in which Mary and Marie lounge in a tub together on a lazy summer afternoon talking about memories with their Mom... completely naked. Is this the behavior of two eccentric sisters who have bathed together since childhood, justifiably at home with their bodies in a nonsexual manner, or are they taking a leisurely bath after necking in the kitchen? Kearns-Green and Roxo force the viewer to first question girl's relationship and then to ultimately question their own perceptions.
Kearns-Green and Roxo have brilliant chemistry. What the audience sees as abnormal intimacy between two sisters may in fact be the magnetism between two synched actresses. As well as these women work together, the other actors in the film make room for reasonable doubt in regards to Kearns-Green's and Roxo's acting skills. Their on-screen flare may just be an extension of their off-camera camaraderie.
"Mary Marie" is intended to spark conversation about family relationships, to ask if these women are abnormally close or if they are engaging in same-sex incest. To the LGBT community the points of contention within the film, sleeping in the same bed, eating together, bathing, etc. are small potatoes. Despite hints to the contrary, the audience isn't even told if they're blood sisters. These ladies could be adopted sisters - not that it makes a difference. We no longer live in a society in which family is limited by blood. We can choose our family. It can be blood relatives or it can be the family you adopted out of necessity at "Pray the Gay Away" Camp. It doesn't matter because we get to choose. The issues brought up by this film are sticky but should disturb only the most prudish of our ranks. It's none of our business how these ladies bathe or sleep. They're adults; they get to choose. The real shock lies in our response to their private, personal choices. What business is it of ours if they're happy and hurt no one? It isn't.