Rating: 2 out of 5.

The road trip is well-worn cinematic territory for a number of reasons; rarely is it a successful venture for drama, with only 2007’s Into The Wild coming to mind. Typically, comedies are stronger following this avenue, but The In-Between aims to reroute these expectations. The film tells the story of two women, Junior (Mindy Bledsoe) and Mads (Jennifer Stone), who trek across Western America on a journey of self-discovery. Both women take the road trip for Mads to renew her license, and to visit the spot Junior’s sister, Veronica, was killed in a car crash. Junior suffers from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, while Mads deals with diabetes. I admired the strength, chemistry, and authenticity of the weird friendship. The In-Between never injects the necessary narrative urgency or stakes to make you care about these characters beyond a surface level.

The script meanders along, following these two on an empty road trip where not much happens at all. Some clever dialogue tries hard to put us in the headspace of the characters. This is two women traveling together, smoking weed in the desert. The strength of their friendship is cute, and rubs off on the viewer. It never goes further than a warmness though; it takes the entire brief length to become accustomed to their bizarre dynamic together. A unique and singular soundtrack that feels essential to the identity of Mads and Junior is more effective at evoking mood than the script itself. Acting performances are mostly inconsistent, with Jennifer Stone delivering above the others. The film will certainly have merit for those who can relate to the female-driven dynamics and friendship. The In-Between will make you feel “like you’re a drag queen on the inside,” and is set for release May 7, 2021.

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