The Truth About Jane
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The Truth About Jane is a Lifetime Original Movie directed by Lee Rose and starring Stockard Channing, Ellen Muth, Kelly Rowan Jenny O Hara and RuPaul (credited under RuPaul Charles). The film is about a teenage girl named Jane (Muth) who struggles not only with her sexuality, but with a mother (Channing) who refuses to accept her. It first aired on TV on August 7, 2000.
|The Truth About Jane|
The Truth About Jane
|Directed by||Lee Rose|
|Produced by||Orly Adelson|
|Written by||Lee Rose|
|Music by||Terence Blanchard|
|Cinematography||Eric Van Haren Noman|
|Edited by||Peter V. White|
|Distributed by||Lifetime Television|
|7 August 2000|
The film was nominated for several awards, including Outstanding TV Movie by GLAAD, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (Channing) Screen Actors Guild, and Original Long Form by WGA.
The film ends with a dedication to Matthew Shepard and to "all the men & women who love differently".
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Although Jane appears to be happy and a normal teenage girl to her friends and family, inside she's feeling alone and different, particularly due to her lack of interest in boys, which her friends take note of. Her feelings grow more confusing when a new girl named Taylor arrives in class (played by Alicia Lagano) who Jane sees as "different, smarter, wiser."
The two initially become friends when Jane helps Taylor get caught up in class. Eventually, Jane's feelings start to become gradually clearer and she realizes that she has a crush on Taylor. Taylor and Jane share their first kiss, and Jane wonders to herself if kissing Taylor made her gay and that, at the time, she convinced herself that "it was just a phase." After that, the two become an official couple.
Janice does not like Taylor, believing she's a bad influence on Jane, since she is no longer hanging out with her old friends and doesn't spend as much time with her family. A while later, Jane and Taylor have sex for the first time. The next day at school, Jane tells Taylor that "it was a mistake" and that she's not gay. Hurt, Taylor breaks up with Jane.
With Taylor gone, Jane is more withdrawn and heartbroken. When she finally gets over her confusion, she asks Taylor for a second chance, but Taylor turns her down. Distraught, Jane begins to cry and is then confronted by her English teacher/guidance counselor, Ms. Walcott (Rowan). Ms. Walcott takes Jane into her office and, with some gentle encouraging, Jane confesses that she had sex with someone for the first time and about her situation. However, she's careful to not specifically say the person is another girl.
Ms. Walcott then suggests that Jane write Taylor a note to express how she feels and why she acted the way she did. Jane does, and a few days later, Taylor shows up at her house, and the two share a kiss, unaware of Jane's brother watching them through her partially open bedroom door. Jane's brother outs Jane and Taylor. As a result, one night after dinner, Janice gets an anonymous phone call from someone asking if she knows her daughter is a lesbian. Jane's parents confront her about it and ask if it's true; Jane lies and claims that she and Taylor were just practicing, which is what her father already assumed they were doing.
Eventually, the harassment and name-calling gets too much for Jane at school and, during dinner, Jane says she wants to see Taylor, only for her younger brother to call Taylor a dyke. Snapping, Jane attacks him. When her parents yell at her, Jane comes out to her parents as a lesbian.
Shocked, hurt and angry, both her parents initially react badly to it, assuming that they had done something wrong as parents and decide that they will do whatever it takes to make their daughter's life "better" for her. They forbid Jane from seeing Taylor and send her to therapy. Therapy proves useless, and Jane and Taylor still continue to see each other, even going as far as sneaking out to a gay bar, which Jane gets grounded for when she comes home intoxicated at 4 AM. Soon, the sneaking around and drama becomes too much for Taylor and she breaks up with Jane, breaking her heart.
Ms. Walcott stops to comfort Jane on seeing her crying. She then explains to Jane that it will get better and that she understands what she's going through. At first Jane doesn't believe her, but Ms. Walcott comes out to her as a lesbian and tells her the story of her first time falling in love and being dumped. Ms. Walcott says she thought it was "the end of the world" for her at the time, but eventually emotionally healed and moved forward, and Jane starts to feel better. However, during lunch at school, she's confronted by her old friends who begin taunting her about being a lesbian. Jane ends up attacking one of them, causing her to get suspended.
After Janice picks up Jane from school following the suspension and they walk out of the high school, a group of boys make homophobic remarks about Jane in front of her mother, who is hurt by the comments. Jane sarcastically says she doesn't know why her mother should care as she is "one of them." At home, Janice tries to confront her daughter about her remark and claims that what Jane is doing isn't normal, Jane angrily begins to rant that gay people are perfectly normal, unintentionally outing Ms. Walcott in the process. Janice angrily confronts Ms. Walcott at the school, demanding that she stay away from her daughter and threatening to go to the school board if she doesn't.
Later on at home, Jane's parents announce that they feel sending her away to boarding school will be the best way to handle the situation. Jane tells them that sending her away isn't going to change who she is and storms off. Having nowhere else to go, she runs away to Ms. Walcott's house, meeting her partner. Jane apologizes to her for outing her and tells her that she is considering suicide as she can't stand having her parents hate her so much.
Knowing exactly how she feels and wanting to help Jane before it is too late, Ms. Walcott goes to Jane's parents and tells them her own personal experience growing up as a lesbian with parents who refused to accept her. When Janice says to Ms. Walcott that she knows Jane better than she does, Walcott tells them that Jane is considering suicide. Stunned into realization that they need to learn to accept Jane before losing her forever, they go along with Ms. Walcott back to her home. Janice and Jane talk and the two reconcile, though their relationship is still strained. In an attempt to make her mother more comfortable with her sexuality, Jane takes her to a PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) meeting, where they hear a story from another mother whose situation mirrored their own. Janice continues to go to the meetings, despite still being uncomfortable and unable to admit that her daughter is a lesbian.
When it comes time for a pride rally, Janice announces at dinner that she's not going to go because she's still not ready, which hurts Jane. Later that night, Janice apologizes and says she's trying. But Jane says that accepting her in private isn't enough as it still proves a part of her mother is still ashamed of her. Jane later attends the rally with her father, brother, Jimmy (her mother's gay friend who gave Jane advice earlier) and another friend of her mother's and are eventually joined by Ms. Walcott and her partner.
In the ending of the film, when it's time for the PFLAG parents from Janice's group to speak, Jane looks around at the crowd and sees her mother walking through the crowd towards her. Realizing her mother has finally learned to accept her, the two happily smile at each other as Janice joins Jane and their family and friends by their side.
- Stockard Channing as Janice
- Ellen Muth as Jane
- Kelly Rowan as Ms. Lynn Walcott
- Jenny O'Hara as Beth
- RuPaul as Jimmy
- Noah Fleiss as Ned
- James Naughton as Robert
- Alicia Lagano as Taylor
- Kacy Clark as Brad
- Mark Siegel as Doctor
- Erika Moore as Jane, age 9
- Tiffany Westlie as Kate
- Kenny McKeon as Grant
- Michelle Lane as Betsy
- Amy Davidson as Elizabeth
- Melissa Wolfklain as Claire
- Lillie Richardson as Dr. Sanders
- John T. Huggins Jr. as Boy
- Makyle Kaplan-Dailey as Gay Boy
- Robert Harvey as Mr. Anderson
- Victor Kravetz as Boy
- Molly Schaffer as Margaret
- Lucky Hayes as Dorothy
- Terey Summers as Lorraine
- Maedell Dixon as Susan
- Will Bribiescas as Raver / Club Scene
- Krysten Jackson as Student
- Chuck Rahill as Ambulance Patient
- John Thomas as Boy
- Bob Huff as Doctor with Briefcase
- George M. Kostuch as Teacher
- Jose Rosete as Diner Patron
- Cheryl Schmidt as Student