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Film / The Pretty One

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The Pretty One is a 2013 Dramedy film directed and written by Jenée LaMarque. The film stars Zoe Kazan, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston, Sterling Beaumon and John Carroll Lynch. Laurel and Audrey are identical twin sisters who grew up in a small town. After their mother died, Audrey went off to the city to become someone new and exciting and Laurel stayed to take care of their father. Audrey comes up with a plan for Laurel to come back to the city, and learn who she is. After a car crash, only one twin survives, but with retrograde amnesia, and is identified as Audrey based on the pendant she was wearing.

On the morning of her own funeral, Laurel realizes that she is the one who survived the accident, but decides to assume Audrey's life, since everyone seems to have loved Audrey more. Soon, she is living in the city, struggling to try to take up Audrey's life and also struggling with the attraction she has with Basel, the tenant on the other side of her duplex.

This film has examples of the following tropes:

  • Always Identical Twins: Laurel and Audrey are identical twins, but only genetically. They're quite distinct with their styles and personalities, thus it's easy telling them apart (at first-they get mixed up later).
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Laurel is deeply affected by Audrey's death, but feels she can't admit to it because she's taken over Audrey's life. She even attends a support group for surviving twins.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Laurel attends as Audrey, and is horrified when even her own father can't think of anything to say.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Everyone knows that Laurel was the one who died in a fire because Audrey is the one with short hair...
  • Missing Mom: Audrey and Laurel's mother is dead when the film begins. Laurel has kind of taken over her role in the house, cooking for her dad and wearing her clothes. Audrey chides her gently for this and says she needs to move on, which Laurel does at her urging.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Laurel is shown sitting up in bed next to Basel the morning after having sex with him, the bedsheet carefully wrapped around her chest.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Audrey is outgoing and popular. Laurel is reclusive and most people prefer Audrey.
  • Their First Time: The film opens on Laurel and a young man having sex. It later turns out she lost her virginity to him, having gotten tired of waiting. Everyone finds it a bit creepy since she once baby sat him as a kid.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Audrey's good friend, Claudia, directs Laurel to a support group for surviving twins. It's implied to be the only place that Laurel can grieve for Audrey.
  • Twin Switch: Laurel attempts one when Audrey dies and Laurel is mistaken for her. Several people in Audrey's life know that something is definitely wrong, but they're not sure what.