AWOL, a lesbian romance from director Deb Shoval stars Lola Kirke and Breeda Wool. It’s the story of Joey (Kirke) who enlists in the Army as a solution to her lack of direction. Soon after she meets married Rayna (Wool) and the story is underway.
Rayna has two kids and a truck driver husband who is gone a lot. As the romance between Joey and Rayna begins, Rayna tells her, “I am never leaving, but we’re going to have a really good time before you get out of here.”
The film’s synopsis is, “A young woman Joey is in search of direction in her small town. A visit to an army recruiting office appears to provide a path, but when she meets and falls in love with Rayna that path diverges in ways that neither woman anticipates.”
In a generally unfavorable review by Dennis Harvey at Variety, he did offer this praise, “. . . nuanced portrait of a downwardly mobile “heartland” Caucasian America too seldom portrayed in movies given the large chunk of the populace it encompasses.” With two women in the lead and a woman director, I’m willing to give the film a chance.
Deb Shoval, the director, told Women and Hollywood, “Since September 11, I’ve always been curious about who joins the military in a country like ours, where military service is not mandatory. Are motivations purely financial? Patriotic? And along these lines, who leaves the army, and why?”
Dale Soules plays Joey’s mother with Bill Sage as Rayna’s husband, a man who has suffered through several tomboys in Rayna’s life.