The idea for The Pretty One came to me soon after discovering the fascinating subculture of twinless twins. I came upon a book of first person accounts of twins who'd lost their twin, and found their stories to be incredibly moving; while reading them, tears almost cartoonishly sprung from my eyes. It occurred to me that no film had ever explored this emotionally rich territory. I had to make one.
The tricky thing was figuring the tone of this kind of story, I couldn't dare to let it slip into melodrama, I knew that the heaviness needed to be handled delicately and lightened with the humor of real life. I was inspired by films like “Harold and Maude,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “Lars and the Real Girl.” These films have a unique tone that uses humor as a kind of gateway that allows the darkness of their subject matter to enter your heart. The humor doesn't come from pratfalls or making fun of people, but from following real human beings with real pain into ridiculous situations born out of true character. I aspire to make films like these, films that make you laugh and make you cry, films that make you feel connected to other people, and offer up the deep satisfaction of a great emotional journey.
While The Pretty Oneis a story of identity and loss, it's also a feel-good coming-of-age story about a wallflower who finally breaks out of her shell. After experiencing the untimely loss of her twin, Laurel chooses to embrace her flawed humanity and pursue a life of meaning despite her sizable imperfections. I sincerely hope that people are inspired by her story to take chances and be brave, to create a joyful life out of the mess of being human.
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