Last year Writer/Director/Producer Angela Robinson wrote what
could almost be called the lesbian filmmaker's manifesto on AfterEllen.com,
calling for all lesbian filmmakers with ideas to grab their cameras
and start shooting. With digital video cameras so easily accessible
and the Internet available as a means of distribution, there has
never been a better time for guerilla filmmaking. Though this
project obviously predates Angela's article, for all intents and
purposes this film could almost be the perfect response to that
In 2006 a bunch of artistic friends from Nevada got together
and made a no-budget movie. The screenplay was written a few years
before by partners Amanda Tremblay and Megan Schlegel. Because
they, and all the rest of the cast and crew, all had day jobs
they could only film on the weekends. So began a true labour of
love, and it really does show. These are obviously a bunch of
really creative, talented people.
Obviously, due to budget restraints, this was never going to
win prizes for best cinematography, but I think their cinematographer
did a pretty good job with what he had. The script is winsome
enough to keep things interesting, and the film doesn't try and
complicate things by putting too much in or by being too long.
A couple of good-looking leads and a neat little story hook, and
hey presto, you have a dinky little movie. The filmmakers entered
the film in the 2006 Slamdance film festival.
Of course, when it came time to distribute the film they built
to advertise it, streamed the film for free on media site
and offered the CD at filmbaby.com.
(Roll over these URLs for links) I don't usually offer so much
purchase information on films, but I just seriously got such a
good chuckle out of this film that I had to give it a plug. Of
course, I also love discovering new films that hardly anyone has
Right. As for the film, this is a very simple love story. Kate
falls for Hannah, a straight girl who runs a local bakery that
specialises in dog treats. Of course, she has the classic gay-girl-loves-straight-girl
fantasies of her dream woman dumping her boyfriend and running
away with her. Unfortunately it doesn't look like that's going
to happen. Instead, Hannah invites Kate to her book club, a monthly
meeting of successful (straight) women. After being pressed to
nominate a book for the next meeting, Kate offers up an unusual
title - a book of lesbian erotica about a dashing gay pirate named
The women in the book club read the book, and find themselves
so turned on that their sex lives instantly improve. I have to
say, the similarities between this and the popularity of lesbian
fanfic on the web is kinda hilarious. Kate on the other hand is
still suffering her straight-girl crush, and complains about it
to her gay boy friends. They in turn set her up on a series of
disastrous blind dates. Finally, fed up with the situation, Kate
accepts a job in San Francisco, hoping that running away from
it all will solve her entire problem.
The news that Kate is leaving and the feelings she gets from
reading the book finally spur Hannah into action, but is she brave
enough to leave her straight life and perfect boyfriend behind?
One thing I will mention though... sex and bubble wrap don't mix!
For the explanation behind that, and to see if Kate and Hannah
have a happy ending, you'll have to watch the film.
Littered throughout the film are black and white excerpts from
the lesbian erotic novel that all the women are reading, and these
are the parts that are truly amusing. Raven, the lesbian pirate,
has a seductive catchphrase (I don't want to ruin in for you)
that is repeated, and every time it was said I found myself laughing
out loud. The fact that you come to expect it just makes it funnier.
Eventually, the straight women reading the book begin to imagine
themselves as characters being seduced by the gay pirate, and
they all lose their virtues to her all-too-persuasive charms.
Cicely Mendoza, the actress playing Kate, is very easy to like,
and very easy on the eyes. She has a natural beauty that isn't
showy, and I definitely bought her as a lesbian. The remainder
of the book club was well cast, though the side plot involving
the overly-christian woman and her lover dragged the film a little
Considering we're never going to get films made and distributed
by the big studios in the quantities we want or with the content
we love, there needs to be more support for little enterprises
like this. I'm actually really surprised (and maybe a little disappointed)
that this film hasn't been picked up by the major lesbian film
festivals. It is every bit as good, if not better, than most of
the stuff you see at those festivals every year. My rating is
probably a little inflated, but I can't resist a good romance.
I'm sticking with it because these filmmakers deserve support,
and because I genuinely enjoyed myself watching this movie. That
is, after all, the whole point.
Got a comment? Write to me at email@example.com