Who knew a case of bottled water could lead to such drama?
Remember the ease of hooking up? When you are younger, there is a natural, carefree quality to spending the night with someone you feel a connection with. You aren’t automatically wondering where is this going or could this lead to something more. But what happens when the person you sleep with happens to be best friends with your grieving grandmother (just reading that sentence makes me chuckle with uncomfortable laughter)? Jill Gutowitz’s The Ladies is a breezy, fun glimpse at the trappings of connection and modern romance.
Emma stops at her grandmother Pearl’s house on a typical day. She bickers with her cousin, played by Never Have I Ever‘s Jaren Lewison, but she is surprised when Blanche, her grandmother’s best friend, shows up right after her. Blanche was supposed to send Pearl a picture of her favorite water to her so Pearl could go buy it herself, but the grandparent insists that she never received anything from Blanche. When Emma realizes that last night’s tryst with Blanche might come out, she is desperate to get out of the situation to protect her grandmother’s heart. And, you know, to save herself from any potentially cringey humiliation.
This ensemble bounces off of each other very well, and Gutowitz makes an impressive directorial debut telling a personal story based on her own experiences. Lisa Ann Walter is welcome on our screens any time she wants, and The Ladies reminds us why we love her as we wait for Abbott Elementary to return. Lewison makes for a worthy (and handsome) douchey adversary, but Alexis G. Zall makes the film as Emma. She just wants to explore a new relationship in peace…and she definitely doesn’t need her family knowing her business–something we can all relate to.
Dating is hard enough as it is. It doesn’t need to be a family affair. The Ladies is relatable, well-directed, and playful.
The Ladies debuts at Outfest on July 22. It will be available in person and virtually.