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Trib(i)ca Pick: “I Think She Likes You” Puts the Threesome in Therapy

Posted on April 26th, 2019

Posted in Bisexual Resource Center Blog

By Shayna Maci Warner

BRC is scouring the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival for all your bi+ film needs! Be sure to keep up with us @BRC links

(Left to right) Teresa Lee and Christine Medrano wrote and star in I Think She Likes You, a short film screening at Tribeca Film Festival.

In I Think She Likes You, a short film directed by Bridley Elliot (Battle of the Sexes, Affections) and written by Teresa Lee (Cracked, Brockmire) and Christine Medrano (Funny or Die, Entre Nos), two bisexual women finally find a good use for a man. Starring Lee, Medrano, and Josh Fadem (Better Call Saul, Twin Peaks), this comedy short uses the backdrop of a threesome initiated by Justine (Medrano) and Julia (Lee) to take a friendly dig at everything from commitment-phobia to Jewish summer camp to Rupi Kaur. With performances that run the gamut of every imaginable facial expression and split-second emotional shift, Lee and Medrano present an exaggerated, but not-too-far-from-home look at a relationship rife with communication roadblocks.

Lee and Medrano first bonded while performing as stand-up comics, creating tours around their festival bookings to help subsidize festival travel and fees. For Lee, comedy “is a really accessible way for people to explore your story. Not that drama isn’t, but something about comedy helps bridge the divide. This is the way I, personally, can think about these sorts of things — I can talk about them if I can laugh at the harder things.”

For their first collaborative short, “these sorts of things” include a lack of bisexual representation, coming out later in life, a modern day Vita-and-Virginia predilection for love letters, and a frustration with depictions of threesomes.

“The main thing was that we wanted to look at this threesome through a female gaze,” Medrano says. “It’s so often looked at as the man initiating, but this time it’s all about the girls having that power.”

Lee adds, “Not a heterosexual couple finding a ‘unicorn,’  Those are fine, too. But this is about two women seeking out a man, and using him as an accessory.”

(Left to right) Lee, Josh Fadem, and Medrano challenge tired portrayals of bisexual+ sexuality in their new short film.

The fantasy of the threesome, Lee acknowledges, is often portrayed as “an escape,” set in motion by and catering to heterosexual male desire.

But in their short, Medrano says, “it’s a trap!”

Well, not so much a trap as a lead in to some serious (and seriously silly) emotional turmoil, but I Think She Likes You certainly exposes some of the messiness that underlines sex and togetherness. Volatile as that togetherness may be, Justine and Julia are truly in charge, and Fadem’s Jake is pulled along for the pseudo-therapeutic ride.

Medrano expresses satisfaction not only with this switch-up in gazes, but in their short’s leading characters being two bisexual women of color who are as sex-positive as they are glaringly, hilariously inept at navigating intimacy. “It’s not like, two white, blonde lesbians making out. Off the top of my head, I can’t name another comedy where two queer women of color are the leads.”

On-screen representation isn’t the only thing about I Think She Likes You that yielded something new for Medrano. The short had its world premiere at Outfest Fusion last month, and in order to invite her mother, Medrano came out to her. Except for the part where Medrano came out over the phone, it wasn’t much of a big deal, and it certainly proved to be a great nugget for their Outfest Q & A.

The eight-minute runtime of the short can’t cover all the particulars of bisexuality which are important to the writing team — nor should it.  So many aspects remain for future, unexpected comedy gold, including distinctions between “pansexual,” “bisexual,” and “queer,” and what Lee refers to as a “floating between worlds,” which affords a kind of specious safety for those not quite comfortable with fully realizing their identity. However, it does capture the zeitgeist of a fluid dating scene that doesn’t want to use labels when, actually, it really kind of would prefer knowing if it’s your girlfriend.

“We want to see other people’s versions of this,” Lee says, enthusiastic in encouraging those who see a spark of themselves in this representation to “go make something.”

Though they can’t announce where the short will travel next, more audiences will be able to see it soon, and hopefully find their own piece of inspiration to get out and make something. In the meantime, Lee and Medrano are working with both series and feature formats to extend the short, keeping their options as open — perhaps a little more communicatively open than their on-screen relationship.

I Think She Likes You plays Tribeca on 4/26 and 5/1 at 9PM, 5/3 at 11PM, and 5/4 at 2:30PM. Tickets are currently sold out, but you can rush them an hour before each showing!

You can find (and hire) Lee and Medrano, and keep up with the film, on instagram:

@leresatee and @chrissymeds

@ithinkshelikesyoufilm

Shayna Maci Warner is a GLAAD Rising Star and former EIC of OutWrite Newsmagazine. She is currently working on her Master’s in Cinema Studies at NYU, where she is pursuing the production, preservation, and programming of queer film and television. You can find her writing at GLAAD, Autostraddle, and Bi Women’s Quarterly.