The Unbelievable Truth, like most early Hartley films, is a study of relationships, but here the tension is between expectation and reality.
Beautiful Audrey is expected to remain with her high-school quarterback boyfriend and become a successful fashion model, but she instead becomes interested in a man of mystery, a man with at least one manslaughter in his past. Many characters speculate about how many people he might have killed, and the stories of his past are taller every time they’re told. A genius mechanic who is uncomfortable with relationships, he has to learn to adapt to the interest of this woman supposedly beyond his reach, and to learn to trust his instincts when he has to fight to win her back.
Hal Hartley, Jr. (born November 3, 1959) is an American film director, writer, and pioneer of the independent film movement, who was educated at the State University of New York at Purchase.
Hartley graduated and moved to New York City in 1984. He shot his feature film debut, The Unbelievable Truth, in 1988 and remained extremely active in the years that followed; producing feature films like Trust, Simple Men, Amateur, and Flirt. Unlike most feature film directors, Hartley also continued making short films, many of which have been collected in a DVD anthology.
His films were often noted for dialogue that was simultaneously philosophical and humorous. In the early 90s, he often composed and performed the music for his films under the pseudonym Ned Rifle. —wikipedia
Watching the film, I fell madly in love with Adrienne Shelly, and I've been sick with sadness ever since, because she's not around anymore. Even working within the parameters of Hartley's deliberately flat, deadpan approach, she's a remarkably natural presence, perfectly conveying the combination of petulant world weariness and adolescent vulnerability that makes Audry so endearing as a character. Just look at the scene where she lies on the grass with Pearl and discusses love and nuclear holocaust; the movement of her hands, her eyes and her facial expressions suggest so much about the psychology of the character, the unspoken fear and desire beneath the exaggerated angst.