November 9th, 2016 – the day after the last General Election in the US. Nicole and Angela have to get out of their funk and get ready to meet Nicole’s conservative dad for lunch. Underlying tensions are bound to surface in this “meet the parent” context. Writer/director/editor Lauren Minnerath takes us into the intimacy of a couple the morning after such a defining moment in their country, with a surprisingly genuine screenplay, elevated by compelling performances.
The 58th quadrennial American presidential election result sure caused frictions during the family gatherings of the following holiday season in Minnerath’s circle. Her own disappointment was still fresh when the inspiration for the film spurred, appearing as a potential catharsis. While penning The Morning After, Minnerath aimed for a narrative that felt real, relevant and captured that moment accurately allowing her to explore the sadness, privilege and what was really at stake at the time.
A queer interracial couple felt like the perfect protagonists to encapsulate the full tapestry of what a lot of people were experiencing. The screenplay is extremely strong, it does not shy away from certain issues while being subtle and having a realness that almost makes it feel like an autobiographical film.
Minnerath and producer Taylor Hess, who also portrays Nicole, had wanted to collaborate for a while and this project seemed like the perfect opportunity. The rest of the cast and crew was made of friends whose biggest motivation was the passion for the project given the small budget.
Hess along with her two fellow actors Adenike Thomas and Noel Wilson elevate Minnerath’s screenplay by delivering great performances. The roles are complex, as everyone experiences a mix of confusing emotions at once in the middle of an awkward situation by definition. The characters all have layers and the actors hit the different dimensions with a commendable precision. The subtle performances sell the domesticity of the two women instantly, as much as the honest and trusting way they deliver their dialogue throughout the film.
Fresh off its festival run, we are happy to share the film with you all. Hopefully the dash of humor at the end will help the healing process. Minnerath is already working on two new projects, a horror pilot with a production company already attached and a feature about a high school senior who just lost her brother.