wave babes


Directed by: Lisa Knox-Nervig
Written by: Nancylee Myatt and Georgia Ragsdale

I have a sense of humour. Honest. I laugh at sex romps and stupid satire. I own copies of Revenge of the Nerds and the entire American Pie series. I watched Flying High twenty times. I loved It's in the Water, which I thought was about as campy a lesbian film as you could get.

Boy was I wrong. Wave Babes, marketed as the lesbian Blue Crush send-up featuring no actual surfing, is campier. (Is campier even a word? Oh, who cares?) It's also hideously bad.

Val, Sam and Maureen are three 40-year-old women who reunite for a weekend at the beach. Val has just divorced her philandering husband, Maureen is a straight woman with nothing particularly special about her, and Sam is a lothario lesbian who sleeps with anything with breasts.

As we reach that golden age in life (apparently 40 if you believe this film) it is time to gather and reminisce about all the silly things we've done and all the crazy shit we have left to do. Oh, and if you're a character in this film, you're hellbent on doing every crazy thing you're likely never to do again during the course of one weekend. It's Animal House on speed for dykes, and not in a good way. Not in a so-sick-it's-funny way. Not even close.

Throughout the film the women meet Val's ex and his new lover, they treat the pool-boy like an all-you-can-screw sex machine, they muse about the state of the lesbian community (and I'll actually pay the line about there being only ten lesbians in the world and the rest of it is done with mirrors) and try to dredge up every stereotype about both gay and straight people they can possibly find. In fact, the film's biggest saving grace is its shorter-than-feature running time. If you venture into these waters - fake sharks and all - you are only in it for the short haul.

In thinking about the film all I can think about are the appalling gags. There's the Walk Like an Egyptian send-up, the changing of Melissa Etheridge's "Come to My Window" to "Come To My Bedroom" (and many other musical mishaps). There's blonde beach boys and the sexcapades that would only have been made interesting had there been actual nudity. Then there's the cardboard cutout backdrops and the attempted spoofs at the popular beach film genre. Quirky? No. Crappy? You betcha.

I'm afraid if I don't write it all down it is going to stick in my head. Oh, and now I'm thinking about the greatest horror of all - that I actually paid to watch it. Well, who cares if I didn't get it. I wasn't the only person in the cinema not laughing. And those who were laughing might just as easily have been laughing AT the film not WITH it. Only the fact that the film was meant to be satire saves it from the ranking of "worst lesbian film ever". The fact that Wave Babes never for one second takes itself seriously is a point in its favour. Actually, it is the only point in its favour.

Cringeworthy line follows cringeworthy line, the cinematic equivalent of the death spiral. Avoid this for all you're worth unless you're drunk, in which case some of it might amuse you, but I'm not promising anything.

Got a comment? Write to me at nancyamazon@gmail.com