do i love you?


Created by: Lisa Gornick

If an aimless bike trip around London and the repetition of the word lesbian five million times within the space of ninety minutes is your idea of a good time then Do I Love You? might just float your boat. Personally I'd rather be water tortured.

What gets me is the number of film festival curators who have endlessly praised this film. Have our standards of what is "good" in lesbian film really sunk so low? I believe lesbian film should be held up to the same standard as any other type of film. I've seen Hallmark movies of the week with more depth than this. Heck, I've seen road runner cartoons with more depth than this. At least Wil E Coyote has a point in life, somewhere to be, something to do...

From what I can gather, what Do I Love You? seems to be asking us is, what is the meaning of lesbianism? What is the meaning of the self? What is the meaning of furniture? (No, seriously, who lives in these spartan, depressing flats anyway?) Marina, our heroine, rides around London experiencing different things - lovers, friends, road rage - with not a whisper of a plot to be seen. I want to know why. I want to know what the conflict is. I want to know so much about the characters and this film offers so little. In the end I stopped caring and just wanted to escape.

Being a lesbian is the central point in the lives of the characters. Being women-who-love-women. Being rug munchers. Being gay. That's it. That's the sum total of their reason for existing.

The low point came when Marina and her gaggle of philosophically minded friends sat around and discussed an article from the Guardian about being a lesbian. It was up there with the ludicrous funeral feminism 101 debate with Gloria Steinem from The L Word season 2 finale. If we hadn't already gotten the point that all these people are utterly self-absorbed, this would have given it away. What could have been an interesting moment of conflict (if, for heaven's sake, any of the characters actually took an opposing viewpoint) turns into a session of intellectual wanking for the camera.

Excuse my language but if I wanted to see wanking, intellectual or otherwise, there's millions of perfectly good French films out there to indulge in.

This great white hope of British lesbian filmmaking is nothing but a big white elephant. I would encourage British lesbians to stick to TV. UK television in my limited experience offers far more variety and far greater quality of scripts, production values and acting. As far as the individual characters are concerned, I don't feel the need to single out any in particular for vitriol, they were all as one dimensional as each other.

I do feel the need to say the word lesbian a few more times to do the film justice. Lesbian lesbian lesbian. Are you a lesbian? Why are you a lesbian? How do you feel lesbians are represented? How is your sense of self affected by being a lesbian? Did I mention the main characters were lesbians? It should be pointed out that the fabulous All Over Me did not once mention the word lesbian and we were still able to get the idea.

No, this film is not the "witty, lesbian answer to Woody Allen" film that various film festival websites have advertised it to be. That film has already been made, it's called Kissing Jessica Stein. This film is far from witty and so terribly dull. There are no redeeming features. Thank your lucky stars this film is so difficult to find, there's little or no chance you will stumble upon it by accident. If you do have the misfortune to find yourself watching it, ask yourself this: as a lesbian or bisexual viewer, how are you being represented right now?

We have another contender for worst lesbian film ever.

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