Elena Undone is the story of how a straight, church-going, married, mother, Elena (played by Necar Zadegan of TV’s 24) becomes attracted to a lesbian writer called Peyton (played by Traci Dinwiddie of Supernatural). They embark on an affair and fall hopelessly in love throwing their respective worlds into turmoil. Elena Undone is about the chance meeting of your soul-mate, whoever your soul-mate may be. It’s about the fact that people are attracted to - and fall in love with – people, no matter who they are. And it is about the struggle to be true to yourself in the face of anything that life might throw at you. It is a good old fashioned romance that just happens to be about two women. You should watch it. With chocolate.
Peyton is a successful writer who has recently lost her Mother and split up with her wife of 8 years. Though she is newly single, struggling with grief and at a low ebb, she is determined to pursue her desire to adopt a child and attends a meeting to find out more. Elena has been married to her pastor husband Barry, (who is also married to his church) for 15 years, they have a teenage son Nash and have unsuccessfully been trying for a second child for years. Elena is questioning her relationships both with her husband and the church. Perhaps feeling that another child might finally help to resolve some issues, she is also looking at the possibility of adoption. And so, at the adoption centre, the two randomly meet…
The main thread of the movie is then the relationship that develops between Peyton and Elena, charting the emotional journey they go through, attraction; longing, confusion, passion, guilt, doubt, despair as well as the objections and anguish they face with their families, friends and the church. There’s great chemistry between Necar Zadegan and Traci Dinwiddie as the leads and all the central roles are engaging – including an excellent caricature of the church’s fervently homophobic financial backer, Millie, played with hilariously mean lips and equally mean spirit by Erin Carufel who has one of the best lines “She must be one of those…. I can’t even say the word…. lllllesbian. She’s going to hell!”.
Elena's husband Barry is played by Gary Weeks (The Office, 24). He wants to save his marriage and his family, but will you have sympathy for him? Does he really he love his wife or is the marriage more of a convenience? Flashes of hypocrisy and anger raise questions about where his commitment lies. Peyton’s long term friend, played by the excellent British actress Mary Jane Wells, warns of the challenges that face her falling for a married woman and there’s also a narrative, presented by a “Love Guru” ( :-/ ??) who introduces cameo scenes of other soul-mates both straight and gay brought together by chance situations and over coming barriers to be together. It adds context although I did find it a bit distracting.
If you need any more reasons to watch it, well the two leads are hot in anybody’s language, the movie features the longest kiss in cinema history - and there’s some s.e.x… I guess for some, those three features sell the movie all on their own 😉
So why not disregard everything else and view this movie for what it is, an ode to lovers, to desire, to romance, to following your heart. And perhaps appreciate one of the most significant points that Elena Undone addresses; what a ridiculous waste of energy, time and resources homophobia really is. There’s a scene in the middle of the movie when Elena, realising how attracted she is to Peyton, tests the reactions of her son’s girlfriend Tori, by asking her whether she knows any gay girls in college. Tori, being a well balanced (for which read not homophobic ;)), if stats obsessed student, replies that during an average persons life, they spend less than a month kissing (seriously people, get your act together!!), “so really”, she says “who cares who’s kissing who?”.
Well, yes, exactly. From where I am right now, I can say with more clarity than ever before, that it really, truly doesn’t matter. It just matters that you’re kissing. It matters that you’re true to yourself. And it matters that you live every moment and love with every heartbeat. The End. Or The Beginning.