Imagine, for a moment, someone with the exact DNA as you exists. She has the same birthdate, the same parents, and the same physical features as you. She’s your identical twin, your mirror, and you share all of your life experiences with her, including the death of your mother. You are reflected in her, and she in you. But the reflection is not identical. She evolves, and grows out of the shadow of your mother’s death, living a more glamorous life than you could ever imagine. She’s the “pretty one,” the confident one, the life of the party — and you’re the plain one, the invisible one.
Now, imagine tragedy strikes, and your pretty twin, the one you looked up to and envied all your life, dies in a car crash. The same fiery car crash you survive. Hours before, however, she had treated you to a makeover, one in which your hair was cut to look exactly like hers. When you awaken at the hospital, hours after the crash, everyone assumes you are your pretty twin. And it’s the plain, awkward, stuck-in-the-past twin that has died. Still reeling from the accident and the loss of your most beloved companion, you don’t correct the mistake. Instead, you assume her life.
This is the premise of THE PRETTY ONE — an idea born after director Jenée LaMarque discovered the fascinating subculture of twinless twins. It’s a rousing topic, one that stirs the emotions in unexpected waves (and tears). But, more importantly, THE PRETTY ONE tells the tale of rebirth and resurrection, a coming of age story of a wallflower breaking out of her shell and saying “Yes” to life.
Starring Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks), Jake Johnson (New Girl), Ron Livingston (Drinking Buddies) and John Carroll Lynch (Crazy, Stupid, Love), THE PRETTY ONE offers strong performances by its ensemble cast, with Kazan deftly portraying both twins on screen, appealing to every woman who has struggled with the duality of feeling insecure and inadequate at times, and vivacious and luminescent at others. But it’s Jake Johnson who steals the show, and our hearts, with his unexpectedly charming and vulnerable performance as Kazan’s love interest.
THE PRETTY ONE (@prettyonefilm) opens on February 7, 2014 theatrically in New York and Los Angeles, with an expansion to follow.
Amy Senger is an L.A. transplant by way of Washington, DC, and co-founder of 1X57, named to Washingtonian’s Tech Titans list with her partner Steven Mandzik. Follow her on twitter @sengseng and follow the Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch or email amy@1×57.com.