The tagline of Two 4 One basically tells you everything that you need to know, doesn’t it? “Adam and Miriam have a one-night stand. They both wind up pregnant.” Okay, maybe it doesn’t. I can see how you might have more than a couple of questions after simply reading that. I did, too. How can they both wind up pregnant? Especially since men don’t have baby-rearing parts. Well, there’s something special about Adam. Also, they didn’t really have a one-night stand. That’s marketing deception.
In reality, Adam (Gavin Crawford) used to be called “Melanie.” He’s in the middle of gender reassignment surgery — or, at least, is planning on the surgery; he’s been on testosterone for quite a while now, and for all intents and purposes looks like a man. But he still has female reproductive organs. And, since his job isn’t the greatest, he can’t always afford the testosterone. So he skips it. Two months on, two months off.
Miriam (Naomi Snieckus), on the other hand, is a lesbian whose partner doesn’t want kids. Miriam does want kids, and since she and Adam used to be an item, she invites him over for moral support as she artificial inseminates herself. One thing leads to another, and, well, they both wind up pregnant. The rest of the film deals with the fallout from this, and involves self-discovery, thinking, and a whole lot of other wonderful things. And by wonderful things, I mean that they’re often tough for the characters to confront and can often cause distress. Life isn’t easy, after all, especially not for a transgender person.
It would be easy to dismiss Two 4 One as a gimmick film. When was the last time you saw a serious film about a transgender person? I can’t remember the last time I have. This one is, even if the tagline makes it sound twee and comedic. It’s dealing with real issues — even if the situation under which those issues are being examined is a little silly — that transgender individuals have to face. It’s a gutsy decision to even make this movie, and the filmmakers should be commended for that.
A film like Two 4 One couldn’t exist twenty years ago. One of the characters in the film mentions something similar (although not about a movie). We live in a different time now, when being a transgender person is accepted. And that’s great. I’m happy this film has been made. I didn’t find it particularly funny, or even the deepest film in the world, but it’s on the right track. Even simply having a transgender lead is something that might inspire more filmmakers to do the same. Diversity in movies is good.
I didn’t find Two 4 One very funny, even if it wants to bill itself as a comedy. It just didn’t make me laugh — I don’t think I chuckled a single time. Its premise is ridiculous, sure, but not funny. Many of the supporting actors weren’t any good, and the leads struggled sometimes with the more dramatic moments. And, to be honest, the main question of “what’s Adam going to do with the baby?” wasn’t something that really interested me. Using the situation to explore himself internally was more engaging.
For what it’s worth, I could believe Gavin Crawford was a transgender person. It might take an actual transgender person to tell if his performance wasn’t quite accurate, but to an outsider, it was believable. He’s really the only actor worth noting in the film, though, and if there’s going to be a talking point after the film, it’s not going to involve the actors. It’ll be simply about Two 4 One existing, and how great or awful (if you’re a time-traveler from 1960) that is.
Two 4 One is a stepping stone of a movie. It breaks the barrier by having a transgender leading character (and also having a female director and cinematographer). Gavin Crawford does a good job — from an outsider’s perspective — playing the transgender character. The film isn’t anywhere near as funny as it thinks it is, much of the supporting acting is … spotty at best, and some of the things it believes are interesting aren’t. It’s not a dull watch, but it’s not a must-watch, either.