transvestite the duo discard the trick to embrace emotional vulnerability in “Chrissy Judy“A charming indie comedy that explores the challenges of finding and keeping your chosen family.
Screenwriter and director Todd Flaherty“Chrissy Judy” will debut on the West Coast on Friday as part of Outfest Los Angeles after a sold-out world premiere on Provincetown International Film Festival last month.
The title of the film is a reference to the pseudonyms of the two main gay characters, Chrissy (Wyatt Fenner) and Judy (Flaherty). Together, the couple make a living in New York City from odd jobs and occasional nightclub gigs. They are also best friends with a sincere, if sometimes co-dependent bond that runs deep.
As their live audiences dwindle, Chrissy decides to forgo her stage presence with Judy in order to continue her committed relationship with her on-and-off boyfriend Sean (Kiyon Spencer) in Philadelphia. Unsurprisingly, the move leaves Judy to fend for herself, and he is forced to rethink his personal and professional priorities after he begins to rely on Chrissie as a source of moral support.
“Chrissy Judy” has its campy moments, but the film’s reflections on the complexity of the chosen families and what happens when those relationships fall apart are heartfelt and heartfelt. Both Fenner and Flaherty deliver performances with refreshing nuances despite the theatricality of their characters’ livelihoods.
Watch the trailer for Chrissy Judy below.
Flaherty, who lives in Massachusetts, filmed the entire Chrissie Judy last summer with a minimal crew under strict COVID-19 protocols. He came up with the idea for his debut feature film after he became disillusioned with LGBTQ movies that were limited to stories about coming out or unrequited love.
“These stories are true and we can continue to tell them in different ways, but I wanted to explore the depth and importance of queer friendships in a way that I haven’t seen in the movies,” Flaherty told HuffPost. “I wanted to look at the life of a queer person who wonders why we place more importance on romantic relationships than platonic friendships.”
He continued, “We all had friendships that we thought would last forever, but for one reason or another, it didn’t. Ultimately, Judy must forge her own path in life. I think this journey is pretty versatile.”
“Chrissy Judy” isn’t a road trip story, but it makes amazing use of recognizable locations, with scenes seamlessly transitioning from the urban hustle and bustle of Manhattan to the quaint and quirky beach community of Provincetown, Massachusetts. The entire film is shot in black and white, giving it a classy, European art-house feel, a choice Flaherty says he made to emphasize Judy’s quiet moments of self-reflection, spending much of her screen time in clothes.
If all goes according to plan, Chrissy Judy will continue its journey through the film festival circuit this fall. Outfest engagementafter which Flaherty hopes to secure wider distribution.
Although elements of “Chrissy Judy” are reminiscent of his real life experiences, he emphasizes that the film as a whole is not autobiographical.
“I like to tell people I’m Chrissie as well as Judy, he said. “Writing the screenplay for this film was a way for me to explore my own feelings about several intense friendships I had in my 20s that waned after a promising romance emerged. But more importantly, the film was a chance to explore my conflicted feelings about my desire to be in a heteronormative, monogamous relationship and my need to continue my life as a queer artist. [who] did not follow the traditional path of life.
“Chrissy Judy” will be screened July 15 at Outfest in Los Angeles.