Posted by: fudgie99 | February 25, 2009

The Truth About Jane

jane1qj3I was talking to Virgin in the volcano the other day (see linked blogs) and she was lamenting that lesbians (and gay men) always want to tell coming out stories- in movies and books. Although I could appreciate her frustration, there is something magical about coming out- of having gone through the world with blinders on and then, finally, to have a moment of clarity when all your feelings and thoughts make sense. That’s why I filled up two thirds of my diary writing about my best friend- and not the boy I said I had a crush on. That’s why I couldn’t pay attention to that movie when our arms were touching ever so slightly at the elbow. Anyway, you get the point, it’s a big deal.

The Truth About Jane is a classic coming out story in format. Teenager starts high school, almost fifteen, befriends the new girl at school, and they hook up, rocking her world. This does not go over well with her parents (especially her mother- again with the bad rap against motherly acceptance) and they all struggle with acceptance and growth.

The story takes place in 2000, and teeters between seeming accurate and a little out of date. It might just be that it seems like an extra long back to school special (remember the drunk girl? the pregnant girl?). Jane’s parents love her, are way over the top supportive, and her mom even has a gay friend. The teenager actually does a decent job of acting young, confused, and gay. When she acts out against her parents, it seemed dead on teenage behavior- you think I’m trouble (because I’m gay) I’ll show you real trouble.

Stockard Channing, as the mother, did a good job of acting overprotective and disgusted at the same time. Convinced she can change Jane, she is venomously outspoken about changing her- despite having a gay friend she confides in. It’s different- every (socially liberal) parent’s lament- gay people are fine, as long as it’s not my kid. I certainly heard that gay people should be accepted (the few times they were mentioned), but that did not translate into instant acceptance of a lesbian daughter.

The gay teacher angle was a little too convenient (and a little too Annie on My Mind- good YA coming out book), but obviously added counterpoint to Jane’s mother. The other teenagers in her school were ignorant and harassing, but that seemed about in line with my high school experience of any one who stood out in anyway.

Overall, this movie would have been good to see at 18 when I came out and was alone and isolated. At 32, it doesn’t need a second viewing.

 2 stars- no second date

favorite lines

“We were about to reenact The Children’s Hour.”

“Why couldn’t I just like a boy named Ned.”


  1. “We were about to reenact the Children’s Hour”


  2. watch the movies The World Unseen and I Can’t Think Straight.examining lesbian relationships in a closed society.

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