Many people say that you cannot learn to properly love without having your heart broken first. Sure, we say that about navigating relationships, but why don’t we apply that to our closest friendships as well? In Todd Flaherty’s sly and surprisingly poignant comedy, Chrissy Judy, two friends learn that a little space apart can be the best thing for their friendship to move forward. Sometimes we don’t know we are stuck until we take those scary steps forward.
Judy (Flaherty) and Chrissy (Wyatt Fenner) have the kind of closeness that a lot of people would consider too close. They can dance with each other and then make out without it meaning anything other than closeness and unquestionable intimacy. They are trying to get their drag duo act off the ground in Provincetown, but no one gives them the time of day. That’s why it’s so shocking to Judy when Chrissy announces that he is leaving New York City to move to Philadelphia to take the next serious step with his boyfriend, Sean.
Judy takes the separation, understandably, hard. He is not used to being a solo act in his life (not just his drag act), and things get messy in all of his relationships. You don’t realize that you can be spinning your wheels when you assume that you are living the life you are meant to be living. A lot of people (especially young people) assume that there is only the struggle and hustle, and they don’t realize that they need to be hitting their stride and enjoying life.
Flaherty’s Judy is so unbelievably watchable (“I’m a blouse. I’m a feminine top,” he tells his P-Town friends in an early scene). You cannot take your eyes off of him–he’s got charisma. Judy is the kind of friend that “loves life” when he doesn’t know how wayward and spontaneous he is. A lot of queer audiences are going to identify with how boy crazy he is (I sure did), and Flaherty’s chemistry with Fenner feels earned, genuine, and real. The movie wouldn’t work if it didn’t. Chrissy Judy is the drag Frances Ha that you didn’t know you needed.
In Chrissy Judy, co-dependency is shoved into unwanted independence. It’s messy, sweet, and rewarding.
Chrissy Judy is playing as part of Outfest’s Narrative Features program. It can be viewed virtually now through Outfest’s virtual platform.