Almost too cute for its own good, this Woody-Allen-inspired lesbian
parable does for lesbians what Will & Grace
does so successfully for gay men, to convince the world that we're
not all tight-asses with an agenda and no senses of humour. Yes,
we can laugh at ourselves. Who knew?
Helen (Juergensen) works in an art gallery where she often has
up to three guys on the side at any given time. For some reason
(let's just swallow the believeability factor here shall we?)
she takes it into her head to long for a gay relationship, and
decides to take out a personal ad.
Jessica (Westfeldt) longs for a romantic relationship that moves
her and that she can believe in. One that would make her Jewish
mother happy and get her off her case about marriage certainly
wouldn't hurt either. So she starts serial dating one jerk/nerd
after another. Finally, in despair, she answers a personal ad
that speaks to her. The catch? The ad has been placed by a woman.
Thus follows a series of quirky dates where Helen and Jessica
flirt, learn to deal with their growing attraction to one another,
and eventually end up in bed, albeit after a long and hilarious
courtship that features at its height a very frank discussion
about sex toys that had me rolling in the aisles.
Lurking in the wings is Jessica's nemesis, her boss Josh Myers,
her ex-fiance and the one man in the world who can infuriate her
above all others. He still carries a torch for her and jibes her
constantly about having given up her dreams of being an artist,
while watching his own dreams of writing go down the tubes at
the same time. They're a miserable pair and it shows. The fact
that they hate each other so much almost guarantees they are destined
to reunite, extreme agitation being romcom speak for "made
for each other".
Helen and Jessica do fall in love, and Helen discovers a true
passion for women that she could never have previously imagined.
Her self-discovery is possibly the only emotion in the film that
seems more than skin deep. Helen's shock and heartache over Jessica's
discovery that she in fact isn't gay at all was the thing that
touched me most in the film, along with Jessica's mother (Tovah
Feldshuh, the ultimate Jewish mum!) and her unswerving acceptance
of her daughter's choices in life.
But this is romantic comedy land, and although the ending is
not the ending I think I would have chosen, it does wrap things
up nicely and happily. At least one of them remains a lesbian
at the end - a definite bonus. Pretty production values, a quirky
New York atmosphere and a gorgeous, funny cast make this possibly
the most unthreatening gay film in years, and one with infinite
I found in this film a lot to laugh at, but not a lot to identify
with. Still, I think there were enough laugh-out-loud moments
to be memorable, and Tovah Feldshuh's performance was truly heartwarming.
Note: Deserves kudos for being the first film
I can think of to use the word "bi-curious", an interesting
term gaining more and more popularity.
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