Identifiable characters, sincere writing, directing, and acting, and realistic story elements make To Each Her Own a refreshing pleasure against the ever more pervasive Hollywood world of lesbian chic. Canadian filmmaker Heather Tobin’s narrative feature debut is a remarkable look into the complexity of sexuality, emotion and desire.
- Jessica Wilkie 2008 16th Rochester NY Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Director Heather Tobin went all in when she quit her job in order to make this sweet, well-acted coming out romance and she hit the jackpot. Jess married the boy next door at a very young age and always did as expected, until she turns her world upside down. An undeniable physical chemistry between the two women lends weight and authenticity to this timeless tale of daring to be true to yourself. Tobin’s hard work is the secret behind it. It took her more than 200 auditions to find the perfect actresses. Perfect indeed.
- Copenhagen Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2009
This assured debut by talented all-rounder Heather Tobin (she scripted, produced, shot and edited the film) is the coming out tale of young married Jess and the emotional roller-coaster she finds herself on when she meets and instantly falls for out and proud lesbian Casey. Growing up with a mother that believes homosexuality is a sin it’s no wonder Jess buried her true feelings and married her high school sweetheart fresh after graduation. Yet she’s unable to keep away from the charming Casey and the two young women embark on an affair, discovering what it means to truly love someone. But will love be enough for Jess to tell the truth and come out? An award-winning film at numerous festivals this low-budget gem marks Tobin out as a director to watch.
- Emma Smart BFI 23rd London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2009
A film about falling into your own skin, changing your ways and venturing into risky territory, at its core, To Each Her Own is a sweet and sincere film about desire, love, courage and trust.
- if istanbul 2010
Tobin’s debut feature is entertaining. Leading Ladies give captivating performances. The drama builds to an explosive, satisfying climax, but even so, there’s still no easy or obvious resolution. To Each Her Own carries several messages worth repeating voiced by Casey. Its guiding motto: “Where’s the fun if no risk?”
- Metro Weekly Washington DC 2009
This touching debut feature by up-and- coming director Heather Tobin packs a powerful punch in a heartfelt lesbian coming out story dealing with homophobia inside and out. Jess is married too soon and too young to Trevor, a loyal, overly supportive husband intent on starting a family. Casey, who claims to have been gay since she was in the womb, can’t seem to find Miss Right…until she‘s caught off-guard by Jess. When the two young women find themselves falling in love, Jess struggles to protect her reputation and understand her confusing feelings, which are further complicated by her happy marriage and her homophobic mother. Thinking she can hide her affair from Trevor and maintain stability with Casey, Jess risks losing the strongest romantic connection she’s ever known. With sharp writing and undeniable chemistry, the characters in TO EACH HER OWN bring real life to this touching and highly realistic drama that unfolds around them as they come to terms with their sexuality.
- 13th Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2008
This touching debut feature by up-and-coming director Heather Tobin packs a powerful punch in a heartfelt lesbian coming-out story dealing with homophobia inside and out.
- 18th Verzaubert Film Festival 2009
The coming-out story, set in Barrie, about married Jess (Hannah Hogan) who falls in love with commitment-phobic dyke Casey, features a strong performance by Hogan. And husband Trevor (Shaughnessy Redden) is a well-written, sympathetic character instead of the predictable abuser usually seen driving women to lesbianism. Check out the knockout climactic scene at the extended-family dinner table. It signals a director (writer and editor) to watch. Nice to get a glimpse of Barrie’s queer community, too.
– Susan G. Cole Inside Out Toronto 2009 NOW MAGAZINE
This film reminds viewers of the beauty and rawness of a DIY production that embraces its aesthetics, and has the ability to recall for the audience the complicated and elated feelings of first love.
- Santa Barbara Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2009
A tender love story agains the backdrop of a battle of allegiances equals a satisfying film experience.
- Outrageous Film Festival 2009
When it comes to movies, we’re used to seeing the lives of dykes unfold in places such as Toronto, New York and Los Angeles-big cities where gays are part of the fabric of the community. But what about a place like Barrie, Ontario? This is the setting for this lesbian drama starring Hannah Hogan as Jess, a married, twenty-five- year-old woman who has no idea she’s a raging dyke. Brought up in a conservative town and listening to her homophobic mom, Jess has buried her true self-that is, until she meets Casey. Jess, sneaking around behind clueless husband Trevor’s back, begins a steamy affair with Casey. Yet Jess can’t shake her internalized homophobia and shocking news puts quite a wrench in her coming-out plans. Emerging filmmaker Heather Tobin’s debut feature, sometimes raw and always compelling, brims with the angst of first love while tackling a concept that many dykes know all too well-the path of true love never follows a straight line.
- Inside Out Toronto 2009
Reel Pride programmer Stephen Mintz reports that excitement has been high at some of the festival’s centerpiece offerings, including Thursday’s world premiere of “To Each Her Own”: The film was so well received (an actual lesbian film with genuine situations and an actual happy ending!), the stars from Toronto were swarmed all night long by autograph seekers (another fairly new first for Reel Pride). It’s been overwhelming for the two stars and director, but they should get used to it, as they’re signed to many more festivals to come. One person told me that he saw the film’s director, Heather Tobin, at the Landmark after the screening, and she seemed on top of the world.
- Fresno Beehive 2008
They still exist: wonderfully old-fashioned films about the one true love. Jess and Casey meet, fall in love, and want to stay together forever. But there are obstacles to overcome: Casey is Shane jr., experienced in sex but not in relationships, Jess is married to her high school sweetheart Trevor and in the midst of family planning. Secretly they begin an affair, yet intimidated by her own homophobia. Jess cannot leave her husband. Casey fights for her even when a happy ending seems impossible. Tobin’s directorial debut is a coming-out-story with heart, showing the tough struggle for identity in an adverse world.
- Hamburg International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2009
Two of the festival’s screenings this year will feature LGBT films in gay venues. On Nov 9, To Each Her Own is playing at Liquid. On Nov 13, the festival ups the ante even more with an event at Axis, featuring the film Pageant and an evening of drag. To Each Her Own is a twenty-something coming of age story. Closeted and married Jessica (Hannah Hogan) has her world turned upsidedown when she meets openly gay Casey. Director Heather Tobin’s film is heavy with the complexities of coming out but is a joyous, unabashed romance. Working in her na- tive Canada, Tobin is an up-and-coming filmmaker working on gay rights issues in both the narrative and documentary genres.
- Outlook Weekly Nov 6 Vol 13 #18 “A Better Day For Gays” 2008
This assured debut by talented all-rounder Heather Tobin (she scripted, produced, shot and edited the film) is the coming out tale of young married Jess and the emotional roller coaster she finds herself on when she meets, and instantly falls for, out and proud lesbian Casey.
- Filmhouse Magazine UK 2009
An award-winning film at numerous festivals this low-budget gem marks Tobin out as a director to watch.
- Glaysgay Scotland 2009
This independent debut by a talented Canadian filmmaker Heather Tobin is an exceptionally convincing and encouraging film about the ups and downs of coming-out.
- Filmovy Festival inakosti 2009
To Each Her Own is an ambitious story of growing up, produced on a shoestring budget.
- Espoo Cine 2009
Jess may look like any other beautiful girl, but her life is that of a woman, already married and settled at 25. Her husband Trevor, sweet but utterly clueless, is plotting the course of their lives (including children) with no eye for his wife’s apathy and detachment. Jess’s life is trudging on without her even having a hand in it. Casey, on the other hand, finds nothing worth committing to. She mindlessly plows away as a landscaper by day, and an array of indiscriminate women by night. But a quick Romeo & Juliet-style balcony exchange ignites a fire in both, and the first date turns into love before either woman knows what hit her. Though they fit together seamlessly, a weak-willed Jess struggles to come to grips with her new love, and the lifestyle change that comes with it. Stifling memories power Jess’s reluctance, the lifelong judgments of her homophobic mother driving the wedge that threatens the relationship. Jess’s tale is a common one, but in To Each Her Own, that isn’t a flaw: The film simply plays out like the story of someone you know. The tender and very sexy bedroom scenes feel like the first time. You can sense how it just fits for Jess, as she experiences that utterly relatable moment when a first love brings out a part of you that no one else has touched. To Each Her Own may be another coming out story, but it’s a damn good one.
- ALEXIS WHITHAM FRAMELINE 33 2008
Casey, a cute young lesbian who can’t hold down a long-term relationship, is just killing time with her job as a groundskeeper. Her friends criticize her promiscuous ways and even her enlightened mother teases her about sleeping with a new girl each night. Jessica is a married woman with a budding career and a caring but clueless husband, who is more concerned with impregnating her than paying attention to her needs. On the face of things, her life is proceeding as planned, but dissatisfied Jess starts to have trouble denying her affinity for women. When Jess and Casey meet, their instant connection and the overwhelming passion they develop for one another forces them to deal with the personal problems they have each been refusing to face.
- Reeling Chicago 2008