Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt) ***
Starring: Ellie Hawkshaw, Zoe Terakes, Marta Dusseldorp, Julia Billington
Director: Monica Zanetti
When teenage brainbox Ellie (Hawkshaw) comes out to her Mum (Dusseldorp), she is determined to invite her school crush Abbie (Terakes) to The Formal (aka. Prom) as her date. Unsure whether Abbie is lesbian or not, she engineers encounters and opportunities to speak to her, but her plans are thrown into disarray with the onset of nerves and the appearance of the ghost of her dead aunt (Billington), a lesbian who died in the 90s, who has appeared to act as her “gay guide”.
This high school comedy makes for fairly innocuous viewing. Ellie is a likable – if somewhat Hermione Granger-esque – lead, whose meticulous planning and matter-of-fact binary outlook on life is challenged by matters of the heart. Abbie is charming, with refreshingly unusual casting for a lesbian love interest. But the scenes that sparkle are those with the aunt, who serves both as the comedy and the tragedy of the story. Without her, there would be no film.
Though unadventurous in its execution, there are enough pithy one-liners to keep us all entertained. Its biggest downfall is the mother, who inexplicably appears weirdly homophobic, despite remaining best friends with her late sister’s girlfriend. But, this aside, and you have a cute coming-of-age comedy, albeit with a supernatural twist.
UK Release: Out Now to watch on Amazon Prime