Award-winning filmmakers Ernie and Heather Smith recently debuted their latest film Christine at the Crossroads at the Channel 757 Fall Film Showcase. Christine (Diane Sokolowich) has been married to her husband (Brett Moye) for three years, but recently she’s begun to question her sexuality. She recalls a time as a kid when she was playing with dolls and her mother stepped in, asking her why she was reciting nuptials for two girl Barbies, quickly replacing Christine’s setup with a Ken doll and a fanciful daydream about how pretty Christine will eventually be as a bride. We see Christine in distress, trapped in a marriage she begins to resent.
But not all is lost: There’s a new employee at work. Her name is Jen (Anna Sosa). When she brings Christine a cup of coffee, the way Christine likes it, a proverbial sliding door is slid right open, and Christine stands at the foot of a new path.
As Christine and Jen grow closer, she realizes she must tell her husband about her latent desires—fantasies that she now knows have been repressed for years and years. She knows this conversation won’t be easy. She knows she still loves her husband, too—but to leave things the way they are, to spare her loved ones from being hurt? Christine knows the truth: The person she is hurting the most is Christine. She does what anyone should do when they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place and don’t know who to talk to or how to channel their emotions: She begins to write her husband a letter. Of course we want her husband to understand, but we know he’ll be in shock. We know he’ll ask questions. We can see the scene coming from miles away.
The film takes us deeper into Christine’s thought process. She thinks about Jen, she wants Jen, but if she’s really going for it, she can’t keep secrets anymore—not with herself, not with her spouse, not with her new love interest. She has to start with a clean slate—fresh. That’s the crossroad she stands at, right? Of course we’ve seen the three acts play out differently before. Someone cheats, someone lies, and in the end, there’s some implausible reason why the two can’t be together. In this case, there’s a lesson here in communication and honesty. You may find yourself completely relating to Christine’s struggle to reach that passageway where she can be herself.
There’s this really lovely moment in the film when Christine tells her husband that she has to stop worrying about how people will react to her—knowing that if she goes on like this for another second, she’ll never know herself, she’ll never know what it means to be happy, and she’ll wake up years from now regretting and resenting even harder, because she never made that leap, and she made a choice not to listen to herself. She would rather start living, today. Her excuses ran out—time to meet her happiness.
Visit skellyfilms.com to find out when Christine at the Crossroads is screening near you.