Movie of the Week: The Unbelievable Truth (1989)

Hal Hartley directs Adrienne Shelly, Robert Burke and Chris Cooke in this indie romance where a recently released from prison mechanic falls for a teenage model in the small town he grew up in.

A lost favourite from when I first got into movies. This small, vibrant satire is archly funny, expertly framed and viciously perceptive. If you approach it like a blue collar Heathers, then you won’t be disappointed. There’s shared DNA in the swipes at Reagan’s America, the primary colour visual look and deadpan line readings. It is a more formally playful film than that cult classic, taking a maturer, less sensational look at hypocrisy of late 80s capitalist obsession. The romance crackles, Adrienne Shelley is incendiary and she has lovely rhythm with her enigmatic leading man. Jim Coleman’s hip score persuasively carries us through the will-they-won’t-they drama. Treat yourself and track this down, The Unbelievable Truth is an unjustly forgotten great.


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