GIRL NIGHT STAND: CHAPTER TWO — Once Separated By Distance, Two Women Seek To Reconnect With Each Other…and Their Love

Chris Hadley
6 min readMar 24, 2021

With “social distancing” becoming a household term due to the deadly health emergency that is the COVID-19 pandemic, the otherwise common act of physical human interaction has become both a risky activity for those who’ve failed to protect themselves from the coronavirus’ fatal impacts and a much-missed part of everyday life for those who’ve tried to keep themselves safe from COVID-19.

The pandemic has also changed how we approach another important means of physical connection: sexual intimacy. Bringing that issue to the fore while offering audiences a dual combination of hope and fun during the COVID-19 crisis is actor/filmmaker Jenna Laurenzo (Lez Bomb)’s newly-released Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two.

Now streaming on YouTube (link below), Chapter Two is the sequel to the acclaimed 2015 short subject that introduced audiences to a pair of young women — Katie (played by Laurenzo, who also wrote and directed the film) and Sarah (Meryl Jones Williams) whose lives take a fascinating turn following a fateful night of romantic exploration.

Five years after their first encounter, Katie and Sarah now find themselves separated by distance due to the pandemic — but not by heart. Frustrated by not being close to Sarah, Katie sets out to turn her long-distance relationship with Sarah into the one-on-one connection she’s desperately desired. It all results in a moment that tests the strength of Katie and Sarah’s love, and their willingness to be intimate with each other amid the ongoing dangers of COVID.

Though Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two was another opportunity for Laurenzo to exhibit her talents in front of and behind the camera, the film also offered Laurenzo a new means of expressing herself and her perspective on life: through music. Laurenzo wrote and performed an original song for Chapter Two, titled “The River”, released digitally on Isotopia Records and heard during the film.

As Laurenzo continues to work on a multitude of other projects, including a TV series based on the two Girl Night Stand films, she recently spoke to me about the differences and similarities between the original 2015 short and its follow-up, and how this long-awaited reunion of the first Girl Night Stand’s two memorable lovers will help to brighten the lives of viewers as they deal with the grim realities of life during the coronavirus pandemic.

L-R: GIRL NIGHT STAND: CHAPTER TWO co-stars Jenna Laurenzo (as Katie) and Meryl Jones Williams (as Sarah).

Chris Hadley: Tell me more about the characters that you and Meryl Jones Williams play in Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two and how they — and the complex relationship between them — has evolved over the course of both films.

Jenna Laurenzo (co-star, “Katie”, writer/director): In Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two, the dynamic shifts between the two characters. In the first Girl Night Stand, Sarah’s taking more of the initiative. In Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two, Katie’s the one who reaches out to Sarah and initiates the interaction, and then tells Sarah she wants to have sex. In this follow-up, we learn a little more about each character, allowing the audience to have more insight into who they are outside of one another.

CH: As we see in Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two, the coronavirus pandemic has obviously impacted the relationship between Katie (whom you play) and Sarah (played by Williams) in terms of their physical connection to each other — especially as it relates to intimacy. In what ways have your own experiences with “love in the time of COVID” inspired both the story explored in this film and the ways that both characters try to adjust to the realities and risks of the pandemic while expressing their love for each other?

JL: This pandemic has been so tough. It’s been scary. It’s been isolating. I really wanted to explore what it would be like for these two characters to reconnect, and how willing they’d be to drop their masks — both literally, and figuratively. There’s emotional risk, and there’s a health risk. When you add the bottled energy of pandemic and isolation, I wanted to explore that through a comedic lens.

CH: In filming Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two, and in particular the scene where you and Sarah finally decide to get intimate with each other, what did you both do to make sure that part of the script was produced safely along with the rest of the film?

JL: We worked with a skeleton crew and followed strict safety/COVID guidelines. We kept our masks on until we were ready to shoot, and we had been tested prior to filming. We discussed the scene prior as well, mapping it out, so that we’d be able to shoot it quickly.

CH: Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two also features an original song, “The River”, which you performed and released in conjunction with the film. What made you want to get into music, how was the song developed and how did the song end up being part of the film’s soundtrack?

JL: Since we didn’t have a music budget for Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two, my longtime friend and collaborator, Gabriel Stanley, and I, started making music. I fell in love with this process. I’ve always wanted to create music, but I was too afraid to try. When the pandemic hit, it really had me reflecting on all the ways I had allowed fear to get in the way of fully living prior to the pandemic.

When we needed a song, I was like — let’s do this. Why not? That’s how “The River” came about. I wanted the song to sound spiritual. With the first Girl Night Stand, while the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, you do get the occasional trolls, and often they’d say something along the lines of how it was a sin, etc. “The River” was largely my answer to that. Found God. Love her. No need for your concern. Ha!

L-R: GIRL NIGHT STAND: CHAPTER TWO co-producer Chris Vernale and the film’s co-star/writer/director, Jenna Laurenzo prepare to shoot a scene.

CH: How have audiences responded to Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two since its release, and in what ways can this film help them to relate to the challenges that come with keeping a romantic relationship afloat during the pandemic?

JL: The feedback for Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two has been overwhelmingly positive. Having so many fans of the first return to watch the follow-up shows how much the first was needed, and how a follow-up (to the first film) was desired. It’s lovely and generous validation, but like a romantic relationship, the creative process requires showing up, and putting in the work. Sometimes you’re rewarded, and sometimes it’s just about showing up and being present, and trusting it’ll work out as long as you show up your authentic self, with an open heart, willing to give and receive.

CH: What are some of the other things you’re working on at the moment — both in terms of filmmaking and music? Are there any projects you’ve completed for both mediums, and if so, when will they be released?

JL: I’m currently working on a new feature that involves music. So, Gabe and I have been busy working, along with Daniel Feldman, who’s another musician we’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with during this pandemic. We were practicing last night. They called it band practice 9 times, so I guess we are in a band? Ha! We’ll release a new song in June. I’m also currently developing a TV project inspired by Girl Night Stand, and another feature.

CH: Finally, what do you hope viewers ultimately take away from seeing Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two?

JL: I really wanted to create something I could release directly online for the fans of Girl Night Stand. I wanted to give them something that was playful, hopeful, and funny during this heavy moment in time.

NOTE: Laurenzo says that the film is not currently closed-captioned/subtitled.

Watch Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqECBeGahgQ

Find out more about the film on Laurenzo’s official web site:

https://jennalaurenzo.com/girl-night-stand

Listen to “The River” (Laurenzo’s original song from Girl Night Stand: Chapter Two) here:

https://smarturl.it/sil5mp

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Chris Hadley

Writer, @SnobbyRobot, @FSMOnlineMag, Writer/Creator, @LateLateNewsTV