“I Love You Both” is not your average love story. The film follows fraternal twins, Donny and Krystal, who realize that after 28 years of co-dependency, they cannot share everything. The film is directed by Doug Archibald, a St. Louis native and co-written by Archibald and his real-life twin, Kristin Archibald. The duo also co-star in the movie that tells their story.

ILoveYouBoth1At their birthday party, the twins meet Andy, a handsome, hipster type with an ambiguous sexuality. Lucas Neff plays the role of Andy, in a dramatic, but refreshing departure from his goofy character on the popular show, “Raising Hope”. Through flirtatious hanging out and after a few dates, the twins become involved with Andy, unsure of which one he is really interested in. Both siblings are, at best, content with their current situation and when they meet Andy, it seems like a glimpse of positivity for both. To avoid an inevitable heartbreak, they decide to part ways from their new friend. As a result, however, the twins realize that they cannot continue to share a life.

Upon cutting ties with Andy, the brother and sister turn to the person they know has a solution to everything, their mother, played by the siblings’ actual mother, Charlene Archibald. Donny and Krystal’s mom is an outgoing ball of energy filled with motherly advice and awkward anecdotes that only a mother could deliver. She is a go-getter who is comforting, supportive and encouraging to her children, whether they want her to be or not.

“I Love You Both” presents each character through realistic, relatable dialog and a quirky sense of humor. Much of the humor comes through dry responses to somewhat exaggerated actions by the supporting characters. Krystal, employed by the twins’ dad, works in an office full of oddballs, including her recent ex-boyfriend, a sly, overexcited gossip, and a former Tae-Bo teacher who responds to conflict with a swift roundhouse kick.

ILoveYouBoth3The entire production is a great example of an independent film. The scenes were clearly shot and edited with an artistic and detail-oriented eye. The music in each scene matches up to the emotions and visuals perfectly, further reinforcing the mood of the film. Although there is heartbreak and drama, the film carries a light and comedic theme throughout. The characters are realistic enough to relate to, but interesting enough to keep the audience interested for the full hour and 30 minutes. Casting was done wonderfully, with such a personal connection to the story, the Archibald twins were easily able to reflect the emotions in each scene.

If anything, I wish there was more. At the end of the film I found myself not wanting to leave the characters. I wanted to know where their story goes from the end of the movie and how their relationship has been impacted. I would have also liked slightly more development of Andy’s character, though I do wonder if that would have taken away from the somewhat mysterious heir about him. It is also very possible that the twins did not get much development from their interactions that led to the creation of the film.

All of these questions and more may be answered at the Q&A with the filmmakers at the April 24 showing. Those within and outside of the LGBTQ community can find something relatable, all the while not having to be terribly serious. I would absolutely suggest anyone go see this movie.

Sponsored by James Agnew & Brad Morris, "I Love You Both" will screen at QFest - St. Louis' LGBT film festival - on Sunday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m. & 8 p.m. at the Hi-Pointe Backlot Theatre. Click here for a full schedule of films and ticket information.




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