“I’ll Show You Mine” teases viewers with its story of a charged, prickly and flirtatious interview between a best-selling author, Priya (Poorna Jagannathan), and a former model, Nic (Casey Thomas Brown), who is the subject and a co-writer of a new book. He’s also Priya’s nephew by marriage.
The way that the director Megan Griffiths presents Priya’s pre-interview primping gives the impression that Priya is preparing for a date. This is one of many feints that will keep us guessing about what may happen between the two. And, through potent silences during their conversations about sex and trauma, the film nudges us toward thoughts about what might have occurred between them years earlier, too.
Married with kids, Nic was once a young, gender-defying model who strutted his stuff long before nonbinary identities were widely recognized. He still casually defaults to coy-boy charm. Priya is fascinated by, and mistrustful of, what she sees as his ease with sex and gender. Her first book was titled “The Abusive Patriarch(y): A Cultural Autobiography.” And the shadow of bad dads — Priya’s but also Nic’s — hang over them as they begin trading histories in her living room.
The director breaks up Priya and Nic’s couch sessions with animated flashbacks, cheekily vivid illustrations and chapter headings. Even so, the movie (written by Tiffany Louquet, Elizabeth Searle and David Shields) is a decidedly talky two-hander. It’s a good thing that Jagannathan and Brown have training in the theater: They imbue Priya and Nic’s densely verbal jousts, dodges and truths with compelling chiaroscuro hues.
I’ll Show You Mine
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 42 minutes. In theaters and available to rent or buy on most major platforms.