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The Guest House

Fall into like with Amy and Rachel, an unlikely pair that find love and perhaps even themselves.


A lesbian film is unlike any other. But a lesbian film about bittersweet first discoveries sends women flocking to see it, making it onto their list of must-see movies—many of which have become cult classics that warrant viewing parties and repeatable one-liners. The Guest House is that new film, a tale of two young girls who find themselves falling for each other in the most unsuspecting of circumstances.

Amy, played by Madeline Merritt, moves into her boss’s guest house and befriends his daughter Rachel, played by Ruth Reynolds. An unlikely pair, Rachel is a wide-eyed 18-year-old in high school who aspires to be a singer/songwriter, while Amy, a bit older, has yet to find her purpose in the world, relying on her feminine sexuality to get ahead. Rachel is infatuated with Amy’s provocative confidence, although neither of the two girls have yet to establish that they’re gay, or that these developing feelings are romantic.

Madeline Merritt and Ruth Reynolds of The Guest House


“There’s this undeniable attraction, and by getting together with each other, they both unlock something in the other one and it allows each other, and this connection they have with each other, to be more themselves in the world than before they met each other,” says Merritt. “They’re able to get over these parts of their past that have been blocking them, and become more fulfilled in life through this connection.”

The authenticity of the high emotion in The Guest House will be evident, too. Both actors admit that a friendship between them flourished on and off screen, only adding essential rawness to the scenes that required them to turn it up a notch. “It was a challenge because we are considered straight, so it was kind of cool to find out how comfortable it was to be with someone of the same gender…even though its something that’s completely new. So aside from our characters, we discovered it in real life as well,” says Reynolds.


Ruth Reynolds and Madeline Merritt of The Guest House


As for this love story, the discovery of finding out who you are, if you’re comfortable with that and how that can be separate from what, as Reynolds puts it, “society tells you is normal”, was one that the actors hope will resonate with the LGBT community and beyond. “For Amy, her relationship with Rachel allows her to escape that one side of her identity that uses sexuality as a tool. I think lesbians can really relate to this idea of meeting someone and really being yourself more than you’ve ever been before,” says Merritt.

The Guest House seems to be that proverbial opening and closing door we so often enter and exit in life. It’s a chance-meet between two people who are both open to change—seeking something, both searching for that one muse, or that one moment when their otherwise confusing lives suddenly make sense. As Merritt suggests, it’s about “unlocking parts of yourself that you didn’t even know were there and taking those leaps of faith.”


Ruth Reynolds and Madeline Merritt of The Guest House


The Guest House, an Oakhurt Pictures production, is slated to be released on DVD by Wolfe Video for September 4, 2012. The U.K. company Peccadillo Pictures recently picked of the film for distribution overseas. Merritt, who has written and produced previously to this for her short film A Prior Engagement will be starring in an upcoming Lions Gate movie, American Idiots. Likewise, Reynolds has several short films debuting in the winter, along with two web series you can catch her on: Fall in Love and Blue Venon.

Watch the trailer for The Guest House: 


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