On this day in 2019, Before You Know It, a comedy about a dysfunctional pair of sisters, was released in theaters. That makes today the perfect day to celebrate the longstanding collaboration of the dynamic duo at the heart of the film, Jen Tullock and Hannah Pearl Utt!
Jen Tullock and Hannah Pearl Utt are both actors and filmmakers whose collaboration began with the 2015 comedic short film Partners, which they wrote together. Partners stars Jen and Hannah, as a young couple who have hit a slump, resulting in an argument that forces them to reevaluate their relationship.
Partners marked the beginning of a fantastic partnership (no pun intended) between filmmakers Jen Tullock and Hannah Pearl Utt.
Partners marked the beginning of a fantastic partnership (no pun intended) for the two of them; the dialogue is natural and witty, and their chemistry as a duo is a dream to watch. Partners makes it clear that Jen and Hannah make each other better, both on and off screen.
Jen and Hannah’s next project was the television series Disengaged, which they also wrote together, and which Hannah directed. In Disengaged, Hannah and Jen act as a couple again, clearly due to the roaring success of doing so the first time, in Partners. This time, they are a couple living in LA, who undergo a hasty engagement after gay marriage is legalized in California. The series features ten full episodes of their quick wit and extremely relatable and entertaining dynamic as an on-screen couple.
In 2019, they came out with Before You Know It, a feature film co-written and starring the two of them. In Before You Know It, described by FF2 contributor Lesley Coffin as “a delightful, quirky, family dramedy about all things sisterhood,” Jen and Hannah play sisters, rather than a couple. However, they are equally as charming and fun to watch together, proving that their chemistry goes beyond the romantic.
Before You Know It is about a pair of sisters who are struggling to keep their family’s New York City community theater alive, along with their father. Then, when their father passes away, they discover that their mother is not dead like they thought, and is instead a famous soap opera actress, who has been left the theater in their father’s will.
What is so unique about Before You Know It, is the longstanding dynamic that has been growing and building between its creators…
What is so unique about Before You Know It, is the longstanding dynamic that has been growing and building between its creators, making the on-screen relationship so much more rich and believable than it usually is. In an interview with Lesley Coffin, Hannah describes: “I think we realized during the writing process that the basis for Rachel and Jackie’s relationship was based on our relationship and how we’ve grown as collaborators.”
We hear often that in the film world, women must support each other. Jen and Hannah take this concept to a whole new level, bringing out the best in each other as writers and as actors. Their comedy builds as they bounce off of each other in their scenes, just as one would imagine they do in the writing room. Whether they are playing sisters or a couple, everything they do together is not only delightful but incredibly real… because that’s what it is, real.
© Julia Lasker (8/31/23) FF2 Media
LEARN MORE/DO MORE
Watch Partners here.
Watch Before You Know It here.
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
Featured Photo: Actress Judith Light attends the BEFORE YOU KNOW IT (2019) New York premiere. Photo by Ron Adar (8/22/19) Alamy Stock Photo Image ID: WB1BPT
Bottom Photo: Filmmakers Jen Tullock & Hannah Pearl Utt attend the BEFORE YOU KNOW IT (2019) New York premiere. Photo by lev radin (8/22/19) Alamy Stock Photo Image ID: WXP1EB