Clea DuVall reunites familiar faces in “The Intervention”


Holy reunions! I mean technically an “intervention” is a reunion, but I was thinking more along the lines of the holy But I’m a Cheerleader trinity of Clea DuVall, Natasha Lyonne and Melanie Lynskey, back together again for Clea’s directorial debut in The Intervention.

The film, which DuVall also wrote, is, as you probably guessed, a comedy. It’s also a total ensemble effort. Besides our beloved trio, the film also co-stars funny ladies Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) and Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother), as well as some pretty funny guys. But you’re here to read about the movie’s lesbian content, so away we go.


Ruby (Smulders) and Peter (Vincent Piazza) have a shit marriage–so much so that everyone close to them knows this to be true. But Annie (Lynskey) actually thinks it’s appropriate to do something about it and somehow convinced the rest of the group to get in on her plan. What exactly is that plan? Stage a “marriage intervention” on the couple while the friends vacation together in a summer house in Georgia. But the idea is not to help them save their marriage. No, the group wants to convince them to get a divorce.

Who’s joining Annie on her mission? Her long-time fiancé, Matt (Jason Ritter), Peter’s best friend, Jack (Ben Schwartz), and his new young girlfriend, Lola (Shawkat), and Ruby’s sister, Jessie (DuVall), and her girlfriend, Sarah (Lyonne). With the exception of maybe Lola, who doesn’t know anyone, they’re all reluctant to go along with Annie’s plan, yet they’re in agreement that the marriage is troubled.

Jessie and Sarah have been together for three years. They both live in LA, but not together. Sarah tells the others it’s because Jessie is “too independent”, and it’s clear the excuses bother her. They’re adorable together, but they’re hardly the perfect couple. The same goes for every couple there (well, in some cases it’s more like half of the couple). But this getaway is about Ruby and Peter, not confronting your own problems (they wish!).

It’s also apparently about picking up new problems. For Jessie and Sarah, that comes in the form of Lola. According to Ruby, it’s old news that Jessie likes women in their early 20s. Well, it’s news to Sarah, who zeros in on Lola and rightly so.

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Lola is a total free spirit, and Jessie is definitely intrigued by her. At the same time, she’s weirded out by her because she’s super aggressive in her flirting. As in the type to get up in your face and tell you she’s been with women before and her boyfriend is completely fine with it. Frankly, I don’t get the appeal, and it seems Jessie is boggled by it herself.

It’s not the best time for Sarah to bring up their living situation, but what else can you do when a television in your room isn’t an option? You could probably wait until you’re through having sex… Yup, no lesbian bed death here! In any case, Jessie is not having that conversation. Suffice it to say, sex is not on the menu tonight, especially after Sarah brings up Lola and Jessie’s “type.”

What’s going on with Jessie anyway? During a sisterly chat, she admits to Ruby that she is a little bored. Ruby wonders out loud if she’s fucked it up yet, which is very telling.

Does she fuck it up? How about this group of friends–how badly do they fuck up? After all, in all of this other drama, they’re still trying to stage an intervention. How do you think that goes?


The Intervention is an impressive first effort from DuVall. With some great original music from Sara Quin, the movie can also boast solid performances from its entire cast. Both hilarious and moving, the film has certainly earned the hype around it since its premiere at Sundance.

The Intervention plays in Toronto at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival on May 31. The film is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on August 26.

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