The Unbelievable Truth (1990)

The Unbelievable Truth (1990)

An offbeat, unconventional romantic comedy that examines true love in a world that’s transactional

7.3

Movie

United States of America
English
Comedy, Drama, Romance
1990
HAL HARTLEY
Adrienne Shelly, Bill Sage, Christopher Cooke
90 min

TLDR

“You can't have faith in people, only the deals you make with them. People are only as good as the deals they make and keep.” – WHAT a line.

What it's about

After serving a prison sentence for manslaughter, ex-convict Josh Hutton returns to his hometown to work for a Long Island garage owner, whose restless daughter Audry Hugo inadvertently reveals that the details of his crime have been forgotten and replaced with local legends.

The take

As a first feature, The Unbelievable Truth had a startlingly new style at the time, with deadpan humor, intentional stilted dialogue delivery, interrupting intertitles, and randomly posed existential questions, but these stylistic touches was what made Hal Hartley a key figure in the early aughts of American indie filmmaking. It’s a surprising twist to the romantic comedy, the first where Hartley pays homage to his hometown of Long Island. The two leads form an unconventional relationship, that at first, seems objectionable with Josh having a criminal background, and Audry just barely coming of age, but as they recognize the genuine emotion inside of each other– the existential despair, the want of a normal life, and the soul seeking they try to find through art, science, and literature– the romance just works. This, the leap of faith in another person despite appearances, forms the current that makes the portrait of small town America feel real and hopeful, even with its nihilistic humor.

What stands out

Adrienne Shelly and Robert Burke– so good!

Comments

Add a comment

Your name

Your comment

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

A star-studded and riveting legal drama with a blockbuster feel.

8.1

The Guilty (2018)

A minimalist, razor-sharp thriller that will have you gasping for air.

9.0

Rain (2019)

A girl finds true love in this unusual, marvelous, rain-soaked coming-of-age drama

8.1

Forgotten Love (2023)

The stunning third take of the classic Polish pre-war melodrama

7.7

System Crasher (2019)

A tale of trauma and one of the most talked about movies on Netflix in 2020.

9.0

Godzilla Minus One (2023)

A more story-driven Godzilla movie with a lot heart

8.0

Open Your Eyes (1997)

The startlingly surreal Spanish psychothriller that inspired modern cult classic Vanilla Sky

8.0

Leave the World Behind (2023)

Shyamalan meets Black Mirror in this hugely entertaining, visually inventive apocalyptic thriller with a killer ending

8.2

A Silent Voice (2016)

A coming-of-age movie that circles around friendship and the atonement of a boy

8.7

Wind River (2017)

Sicario's screenwriter directs this story of murder in an Indigenous reserve

9.4

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2024 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.