Transgender rom-com Two 4 One broaches unique pregnancy issues

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      Starring Gavin Crawford, Naomi Snieckus, and Gabrielle Rose.

      It's not every day that you hear about both partners getting pregnant at the same time.

      That predicament is the premise of the sweethearted Canadian rom-com Two 4 One.

      Transgender man Adam (This Hour Has 22 Minutes' Gavin Crawford), who is planning to get phalloplasty to complete his transition from female to male, gets roped into helping his polyamorous ex-girlfriend Miriam (Naomi Snieckus) get pregnant with some donor sperm. Things don't go quite as planned when they discover that they've both wound up pregnant.

      While Miriam is busy trying to hide her pregnancy from her girlfriend Julia (Andrea Menard), Adam tries to hide both his transgender identity and pregnancy from his engineering coworkers at a new job. Adam turns to his doting, Francophile-aspiring mother (the always reliable Gabrielle Rose) for support.

      As testimony to the performers' abilities, the characters come across as amiable and evenly played, when in lesser hands, they could have easily become irksome or caricatures. In particular, Snieckus manages to make the obsessive Miriam palatable.

      Genderqueer writer-director Maureen Bradley delivers a charming, gentle debut feature, shot and set in Victoria, B.C. The humour is more mildly amusing than laugh-inducing, with a tendancy towards contrived situations at times.

      While the premise is original and intriguing, the treatment of the predicament winds up being facile. One inherent problem is that the overall light touch of the complex issues lacks enough authentic depth to be convincing. While transgender issues are addressed, there are also a few hiccups in the details that may grate on some queer viewers, including the use of the term transgendered and a cisgender performer playing a transgender role.

      That all said, the film does show promise on many levels. After all, one of the signs of social progress is when we are all able to laugh with, rather than at, one another, no matter what our differences are.

      Two 4 One is being released on iTunes on July 17.

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