Sunday, December 7, 2014

Movie Reviews: An Unexpected Love and Tru Love

An Unexpected Love
March 2003
Lesbian/ bi?

An unhappily married housewife and mother of two children (Leslie Hope) separates from her husband and gets a new job where she develops a mutual attraction to her female boss (Wendy Crewson)

Whole movie is on youtube if you don’t mind Danish subtitles.
This movie apparently was produced and written for Lifetime TV. I don’t know if it ever showed on TV but if so, kudos to them. I don’t think I’ve seen a made for TV movie that specifically dealt with a lesbian relationship.

So… I really liked this story. Both actresses did a great job and it felt believable. Yes, it is the cliché of the unhappily married woman who unexpectedly finds herself attracted to a woman for the first time, but it was well written.

What I liked about it was that all the characters involved act how one would expect they’d act in this situation. Kate and her husband are mutually OK with splitting up, although her husband would be fine keeping the status quo. Kate has always wanted to be a wife and mother and that’s what she went for. They have a nice upper middle class existence, but Kate is just not happy and decides that she wants a more fulfilling life.

She ends up working for Mac at Mac’s real-estate agency. Mac is an out lesbian. Both women get closer as they work together and Kate finds herself attracted as more than a friend to Mac. Mac is very leery when Kate professes that attraction because, um, Kate is straight and Mac doesn’t want to be some straight woman’s experiment and she doesn’t want to be a straight women’s secret lover. Mac has lost the love of her life and is also reluctant to find someone knew.

While they dance around each other trying to work out both an attraction and mixed feelings about that attraction, Kate gets the guts up to tell her husband, children and best friend about her attraction to Mac, which goes over…not well…at first.

This movie is a kind of a sweet romance, but it also deals realistically with all the issues around homophobia, possible “gay for you” as Kate can’t really say she’s now a lesbian, and fear for glbt person being used as a fling. It also addresses certain stereotypes of what straight people think about gay relationships. I liked that it wasn’t cheesy, nor was this movie melodramatic. In fact, all the characters act rather maturely for this kind of situation, considering.

The only negative thing I will say is that it did come across as too insta love for me at first on Kate’s side. There is a nice build-up of a friendship between Kate and Mac, but those special things that would occur between two characters falling in love seemed missing. They are just normal, good friends one min and suddenly Kate is kissing Mac out of nowhere. I would have loved to see more sexual/ romantic nuance between the women before that first kiss. However, it is an HEA and still an enjoyable movie.

Heat level: 2-- semi naked, sweet sex scene
Grade: 4 stars


Tru Love (Canadian)
May/ Dec- lesbian/straight

A widow, recovering from the death of her husband, comes to the big city to spend time with her busy professional daughter. Instead, she forges an unlikely relationship with a commitment-phobic lesbian who has a past with her daughter.

I had watched A Perfect Ending, which I loved, about an older / younger women relationship. So I was attracted to Tru Love, hoping it would be as good for me as the other because it’s also is about an May/ Dec female relationship. Tru Love, while compared often to A Perfect Ending, is a very different film though, and can’t be compared really. Well not in story. I will compare it when it comes to personal feelings about May/ Dec love representations.

Maybe it was just my mood, but for most of it I felt a bit uncomfortable watching this. And while I just said Tru Love should not be compared to A Perfect Ending, what made that less uncomfortable for me was the fact that that relationship started out and is based on a business deal, so the lines are clear at the beginning and age difference wouldn’t be a factor in it. In this movie, it’s really about a love that develops between a 60 something woman with a late 30’s something woman.

For some reason, I felt a kind of dread throughout  most of the film mainly because I wasn’t sure I wanted to see these two characters actually fall in love and be intimate. And I’ll be honest in that probably my discomfort is that I’m an older woman myself and would feel weird being with a much younger woman like the one in this film. Although, actually, if I would put myself in the position of a younger woman attracted to an older one, that wouldn’t have made me feel uneasy at all.

Tru is a lesbian who seems to be fairly callous in her relationships with other women. She won’t commit to anyone and seems to have one night stands and brief relationships one after another, not even bothering to remember their names. Suzanne, one of those past women, asks Tru, who still has the key to that Suzanne’s house (side bar- I wonder how real it is that lesbians having brief affairs give each other keys to their houses after a few nights, which seemed to be the case in this movie), to let her visiting mom in. Suzanne is a lawyer and a workaholic.

Due to Suzanne never being home, Tru sort of entertains Alice, Suzanne’s mom. They like each other right away and start getting very close to the discomfort of Suzanne. On the one hand Suzanne is feeling a bit jealous of time her mom is spending with Tru, but on the other she won’t stop working. When she sees that Tru and her mom are getting a little too close she tries to thwart their relationship, which upsets both Tru and Alice, who think the other is avoiding.

As for Alice, her husband has died and for the first time she feels free to let go and enjoy life. The ghost of her husband is there and talks to her when she’s musing, so we get some background on what Alice’s life has been about.

Alice’s zest for life and enjoyment of Tru, and maybe also because she is an older woman who Tru relates differently to than women her own age, makes it easier for Tru to open up about her painful past. So we get to see why Tru is a commitment-phobe.

This story is just as much about a mother/ daughter relationship as an f/f relationship as tensions rise up between Alice and Suzanne about Tru. It also makes Suzanne confront her avoidance of any kind of a life outside of work. She’s very uptight and this cracks her shell.

So the crux of my discomfort is that I felt Tru and Alice connecting as two people might with that kind of age difference, but couldn’t see it entering into a more intimate thing, which it did. On the other hand, truly, I think I ended up liking this film because it does show that love and relationships between people can go beyond what society might deem appropriate or not. (between consenting adults) And I appreciate stories like this that go outside the box.

I’d definitely recommend this story if you’d be open to a May/Dec story with a much older woman.

Heat Level: 0 implied sex, no nudity

Grade: 4 Stars

Movie Reviews: Desert Hearts and Purple Sea

Desert Hearts
Lesbian/ bi?/ May-Dec

It is 1950s Nevada, and Professor Vivian Bell arrives to get a divorce. She's unsatisfied with her marriage, and feels out of place at the ranch she stays on, she finds herself increasingly drawn to Cay Rivers, an open and self-assured lesbian, and the ranch owner's daughter. The emotions released by their developing intimacy, and Vivian's insecurities about her feelings towards Cay, are played out against a backdrop of rocky landscapes and country and western songs. 

- Written by Neil Lewis

This is a very sweet and touching love story and I loved this film. It’s also totally offbeat and not the usual kind of story outside of it being a lesbian story. For the time period it’s set in, it’s rather incredible that it was made as is. It doesn’t shy away from or act like being a lesbian is anything out of the norm, which I loved. I also thought it interesting to have an out lesbian in a story set in the 50’s. I guess if there was any place in the US that a woman could be somewhat open about being a lesbian in the 50’s, it could be Reno.

Vivien ends up on a ranch in Nevada, staying there until she can get a quickie divorce. It seems her lawyer has a package deal and this is why she’s there vs. a hotel in town. She’s a professor at Columbia University and doesn’t quite click with people at the ranch. She’s older, prim, quiet, rather uptight, thoughtful, and doesn’t really engage too much with the others. I didn’t blame her, they get on her case for putting on airs as it were.

She explains to her lawyer that while her marriage to another professor is OK and they get along, she feels something is missing and wants more out of life. She has no children and states he would not contest the divorce. It seems contradictory to her character as normally it’s a more passionate personality that would go to such huge lengths for a change. So she’s in a transition in her life although not really looking for any kind of excitement.

Cay is a young woman living on the ranch that her father’s long-time lover owns. She’s an out lesbian and is very outgoing. She works in a casino and is just living life, having brief affairs until “the one” shows up. She and Vivien start talking here and there and slowly they form a friendship. Vivien, while a bit embarrassed when she finds out Cay is a lesbian, surprisingly, doesn’t really judge her. And she’s curious about Cay and her life.

Other stuff going on is that the owner of the ranch, Frances, is a tough woman who feels threatened by Vivien and Cay’s relationship. Even though Cay is not her biological daughter, she thinks of her as such and as she sees Cay falling for Vivien, she gets jealous and causes problems. She sees Vivien as an interloper who’s trying to break up her only family.

What’s so lovely about this story is how actress Helen Shaver’s played Vivien. Cay, being young and brash, openly hits on Vivien. She’s attracted to Vivien in a way she’s not been with the others and feels Vivien could be “the one.” Vivien is a bit freaked out by it and keeps Cay at arm’s length even as she starts feeling something for her. Helen Shaver’s portrayal of a woman falling in love with another woman for the first time is amazing. She shows a deeply nuanced vulnerability and shyness when her character finally allows herself to be intimate with Cay. Both actresses made this story so believable and I felt they fell in love in a very natural, deep, and honest way.

One really good thing about this film is that it’s left off with a definite HFN. So often these lesbian movies leave off with some tragedy and sometimes you just want that the couple you rooted for to get together does and you’re left feeling good. And I liked that Vivien is the one who earnestly wants to keep exploring what they have together. So this is not a straight woman briefly falls for a lesbian then goes back to her life.

Definite recommend.

Heat level- 3-4 nude sex scene, beautifully done.

Grade: 5 Stars


"Viola di mare" Purple Sea (Italian)
Lesbian/ historical

Set in 19th century Sicily, Angela and Sara have been friends all their lives. But Angela isn't like other girls, she's fearless, and when she develops feeling for Sara she won't hide them. To maintain the forbidden relationship that blossoms between the two women, Angela disguise herself as a man. The two women challenge the rules of society in order to be together in this lush period romance.

Based on a true story

This was an amazing film. Loved it! It’s just gorgeous all around, with the setting and the women and how their love story develops.

I can’t speak for the truth in historical value, but it seemed spot on. The film starts out with the main characters as children, growing up on a small island in which the only industry is rock mining. Angela’s father is the foreman for all the workers on the Island and he’s a cruel, hard man who rules everyone, including his family, with an iron fist. Her father was pissed off that she was born a girl and has never forgiven her mother or her for that.

Sara is the daughter of a maid for the Baron who owns most of what’s on the island. They grow up playing with each other and the other kids of the quarry workers. Sara and Angela are best friends, always together, but Sara has to go to the mainland with her mother with the Baroness. Angela is shown waiting faithfully for Sara to come back.

Fast forward many years and both women are in their early 20’s. Sara comes back and they start their friendship up again. Only this time, Angela makes it clear pretty quickly that she’s in love with Sara and tells her she will marry her. At first Sara is a bit shocked, but quickly warms to that idea and falls in love with Angela as well.

I have to say that I really felt these two were in love. They have so much passion for each other, particularly Angela, who never wavers for a second.

Unfortunately, these two women are living in a place and time when their love is absolutely unacceptable. When Angela’s father tells her she will be married soon, she confesses she loves Sara and is locked up.

What happens after that is such a twist and I’m not sure it could have actually happened as it did, but the idea that it could and they could get away with it is interesting to think about.

Angela’s mother comes up with the idea to call in a favor from the priest and have Angela’s name changed on her birth certificate to say she’s a male. This allows her and Sara to marry. Although her father goes along with it and makes her now the foreman in his place because she is now a man, of course, many in the village don’t accept it and problems do arise, but they manage.

This is such a passionate story of love between two women. And even though not traditionally having an HEA, it’s still a beautiful, satisfying love story.

Heat level: 4- full on naked sex scenes – not done salaciously though

Rating: 5 Stars

Movie Reviews: Stud Life, Blue is the Warmest Color, Cloudburst

Stud Life (British)
Lesbian Stud-Femme/ Gay

JJ is a hot black British 'Stud' Lesbian. Together with her best friend Seb, a white gay pretty boy, they work as wedding photographers and run around the urban London LGBT scene. When JJ falls in love with a beautiful and mysterious woman, JJ and Seb's friendship is tested. JJ is forced to choose between her hot new lover and her best friend.

This was a really good film. I think it’s not easy to find a lesbian film with black characters, but even more so, harder to find a film about a sub group within the lesbian community. I enjoyed it on every level and thought it an interesting mash up of types of characters.

So the blurb for this film is pretty much what the movie is about. It’s basically about these characters going through life as GLBT persons and trying to find love.

JJ and Seb make and interesting friendship. Both get on great and I felt the writers, filmmakers, and actors did an amazing job of making me believe that these two unlikely friends really do love each other and have each other’s backs.

Both JJ and Seb are having short, non-serious flings with others but no one is really sticking for either of them. And for Seb, a dorky, sensitive drug dealer, Smack Jack, keeps hitting on him, but Seb can’t stand him. Since they all hang out in the same circles they keep coming across each other and Seb finds there’s more to him than he first judged. In the meantime, Seb is sexting through the internet with other gay guys. He is rather a romantic though and wants to find a keeper.

JJ is a stud lesbian who finds herself attracted to a femme lesbian she met at that bar they all hang out in. What I loved here is that she is a stone butch/ stud and the movie really shows the relationship/sexual dynamics of a stone butch/femme relationship. Her girlfriend Elle wants to have sex and touch JJ but JJ really does keep in control. I liked that contrary to the “stud” reputation of being tough, she shows vulnerability when expressing to Elle that she will not allow sexual touching. She’s worried that Elle will not accept that. They do hug and cuddle a lot, which showed how they feel for each other. They both accept the conditions just to be close to each other. However, Elle has a secret that derails their relationship for a while. And it’s something that I felt made Elle a lot more human and vulnerable.

As the story progresses, the average day in these characters’ lives is expressed in all facets, including homophobic attacks on them, back biting within the GLBT community and the use of GLBT by straight people for kicks. And it also shows JJ and Seb just being friends going through issues with each other as lovers enter the picture.

It also has an assortment of entertaining, colorful side characters as JJ and Seb are shown photographing all kinds of events with all kinds of straight/ GLBT people.

Finally, there is a happy ending for both JJ and Seb and it’s a really sweet, satisfying, romantic movie. It’s definitely a movie for anyone who wants to watch something a bit different in GLBT. All the actors in this film make it worthwhile to watch.

Heat Level 2: some sex scenes, some nudity, but nothing graphic.

Grade: 4 ½ Stars


La vie d'Adèle (French)
Blue is the Warmest Color

Lesbian/ bi/ YA

Adele's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.

This movie was hyped up the wazoo as you all know. I usually head the other direction of anything this hyped and talked about, and luckily I did, because I could watch it without everyone’s opinions in my head about it.

So right to the point, it didn’t do as much for me as I’ve read it did for others. Maybe it’s more due to my age. This is really a YA story and it’s mainly about the passion and pain of a first love. On that level it’s quite good and I can see how this film would hit all the spots for a young person. I probably would have loved this in my 20’s.

I almost didn’t finish it as well. This is a 3 hour movie and I had the feeling the director or camera person must be in love with the lead actress who played Adele because it seemed the camera was on her all. the. time, in every scene and with non-stop shots of her just staring blankly or expressing with her face. To be fair, I think the actress who played Adele did a great job. But I felt about maybe an hour of the film could have been cut because endless scenes of her crying or looking blank seemed too much.

Also, one of the reasons this film was so talked about is that it has one of the longest sex scenes ever in a regular (non porn) movie. For me, it was way too much because it wasn’t the only sex scene. Compared to other sex scenes I saw between women in the few lesbian films I watched before this one, I felt these were just one step below porn, which isn’t bad per se, if you want to watch porn. And while the sex scenes expressed the passion and intensity of the physical attraction between these two women, it didn’t express any of what might have been true love between them.

The other negative; I get tired of “lesbians fuck around and can’t commit for a long time” kind of thing I see and read so often. Emma is living with someone when she meets and has sex with Adele. Emma then starts hanging out with an old girlfriend while living with Adele. Adele cheats on Emma with a guy. I mean seriously, can’t anyone stay together?

On to what I loved. I loved that at least before the women get physical, there is a relationship build-up. They don’t just meet and suddenly they’re in-love, like some of the other films I watched. And the film did make an interesting statement about the difference between passion and love. What Adele and Emma have is a sexually passionate relationship. In the end it makes a statement that sexual passion doesn’t always equal long term love or that it’s enough to sustain a long term relationship.

It’s also a movie that shows the growth of Adele as she goes through all this pain of a first love and then moving beyond, learning and growing up. So this was a positive. 

Even though this movie didn’t float my boat as much as other people, I would still definitely recommend it. It is intense and show sexual passion in all it’s facets.

Heat level: 5+ -numerous, fairly graphic sex scenes with full nudity.

Grade: 3 1/2  Stars



The best geriatric lesbian road movie you have ever seen. Thelma and Louise eat your heart out.

I watched about the first 20 or so mins of this film and stopped. DNF. I had high hopes for this film. I love Olympia Dukakis and thought this would be a great lesbian film about older lesbians trying to stick together as they age.

Unfortunately, I felt it was off. Dukakis’ character Stella is rather crass from the get-go. I could see where she was coming from, but it was a bit over the top and off-putting. She’s gruff, but not in that older woman give a shit, cute and amusing way, no, she fights and argues with most everyone with lots of over the top cursing, and needlessly I felt. She pretty much alienates everyone except of course, those that accept her as she is.

It starts out with Dot, Stella’s partner for over 30’s years, breaking a bone after a fall and needing full care for a few weeks. She’s also almost totally blind. Dot’s granddaughter, who unbelievably is totally clueless that her grandmother is a lesbian and who has no real idea about what her grandmother is about, insists it’s time for her to go into an assisted living facility. This enrages Stella who feels she can still take care of her. And also it will mean they cannot be together. The granddaughter also tells Stella she may stay in their house for a little while, until she finds another place (the house was Dot’s mother’s house and so legally, hers), which of course pisses Stella off because it’s THEIR house. 

Where I stopped watching was when the granddaughter tricked Dot into signing some papers giving up her house and getting into the assisted living facility under the guise of keeping Stella from getting charged with any negligence in Dot’s fall. Dot is smiling as she gets into the car with her granddaughter, while Stella is bangs on the car window screaming.

The level of cluelessness all around is also what bugged me. Dot has been with Stella for 30 years and yet she trusts her granddaughter over Stella and doesn’t even try to stop the granddaughter from driving away, wondering why Stella is screaming.

Then, again, Stella’s personality is off-putting to me. As the granddaughter is driving away, she’s calling her a bitch and a fucking cunt, etc. No. Seriously, I have the mouth of a sailor, I drop the f word all the time. But there’s constant cursing with antagonistic personality type and then there’s just cursing here and there.

Maybe if I would have kept watching I might have loved it, but I just couldn’t. I think it probably told the story of many older lesbians who have no legal rights with each other and also who have no place to be together like assisted living, or nursing homes or such, which I think is an important story to tell. I just wish it was told a bit differently or that the beginning didn’t put me off too much to finish it.

Grade: DNF

Movie reviews: A Perfect Ending, I Can't Think Straight, Kiss Me

A Perfect Ending
F/f-/ May-Dec/ Interracial

Rebecca has a very unusual secret, one that not even her best friends know about. The last person on earth she expects to reveal it to is a high priced escort named Paris. What starts as a comedy of errors ends up a uniquely erotic journey. Rebecca's unconventional efforts to find herself are raw, evocative, and often times humorous, but always very real, very human. Sometimes a perfect ending is not what you expect it to be. 

- Written by Soul Kiss Films

You know how you read a book or watch a movie and the story stays with you for days and days and you realize it affected you on a really deep level, this is what A Perfect Ending was for me. It’s gorgeous story both on a human level and on an aesthetic level in how it’s expressed.

There are a crap ton of reviews for this movie, so what I’m going to say about it is how and why it affected me so deeply. The main thing about this movie for me was how beautifully and lovingly it shows human vulnerability and the growth that can happen from a relationship, even a relationship with a complete stranger, and also almost strictly a sexual relationship, in which two people feel totally safe to let themselves open up and heal from personal wounds. It’s also about how we come to terms with what’s important when faced with mortality.

On more practical levels, I love that it featured a middle aged women and a sex worker who is empowered by her choice to be a call girl.

Just for edification, this is not a romance. Nor is it really a lesbian story. Neither of the main characters are lesbians. It’s not about sexual passion either. I do feel this is a love story though and definitely it’s a story about connecting deeply on a human level. But also a warning, ending might disappoint. For me it was more about the ride, the here and now vs forever in what I felt this story was meant to portray.

Rebecca is wealthy middle aged woman who on the surface seems to have it all. And she does-- on the surface. She’s not that unhappy or miserable in general, she just seems to accept the status quo and doesn’t think about her needs or wants too much. There is though, a family secret that has caused her a lot of pain and she cannot get passed it at times.

While out with her best friends, a lesbian couple, she confesses that she’s never felt passion. Nor has she never had an orgasm. This of course shocks her friends who cannot believe it. She further confesses that her marriage is not that great and she rarely has sex. Her friends suggest that maybe she needs a woman to show her what she and her body can feel. They know a madam who runs an agency for call girls and think maybe it would be easier for her if she hired one of those girls to help her with that. She decides to go for it but under the condition that the woman be her own age.

Paris is a young woman who is grieving the loss of her fiancé. She is a call girl by night but an artist by day and she’s definitely not in it for the money only, she’s working out her grief by being a call girl. Maybe it’s her way feel some control about her life during this process. When her older colleague, the one who was supposed to go to Rebecca, asks her to meet Rebecca because she has an emergency, she agrees. When she gets there though, Rebecca is shocked that she ended up with a younger woman, freaks out, and decides not to go through with it. But Paris is very intense and open and accepting and seems to know exactly what Rebecca is about. And Rebecca picks that up. 

Rebecca tries a few more times- getting the older woman second time, whom she decides is so not for her, then asks for Paris again. In 3rd meeting, Paris again tries to seduce her but puts no pressure on Rebecca. Finally, Rebecca decides to go for it and it’s amazing for her.

Here I want to interject that actress Barbara Niven did an amazing job of expressing all those fears of not being appealing or desirable being an older woman with older women body flaws. And kudos to her as an actress, who is a very nice looking woman and has an image to maintain, that she showed her actual physical flaws in this movie. I think that took a lot of courage and added to her actual vulnerability as a character.

The first sex scene is really about Rebecca letting go and trusting. Paris being a much younger, very gorgeous woman has the power in this, but she’s portrayed as sort of an experienced, wise, old soul who really is accepting and understanding. She does feel a connection with Rebecca that is beyond their “business” arrangement, so it’s more for her as well. This connection she feels, maybe because Rebecca is also in a very vulnerable space, helps Paris also let go of her grief in a very intimate way.

In case anyone is wondering—although you can see most of the sex scenes are on youtube—the sex between the women is very loving, soft and even though both are naked- it’s not salacious in any way. In fact, there were moments I felt I didn’t want to watch because it felt like I was intruding on some deeply intimate moments. Not the intimacy of sex alone, but the intimacy of being emotionally raw and open during sex. So if you’d watch for some hot girl on girl sex, this is not the movie.

Other than this, I love how this film was filmed. It has almost a Zen-like feel to it. There are lots of fade in and out scenes with action but no words. Since the two women only meet in the hotel room and don’t talk about their lives with each other, the back story of both women, where they are coming from, is told through most of those silent or brief snippets in between them meeting.

The other characters also added a lot to this film. It’s much more than two women connecting, it’s also about life and love and family from and what that all means for a woman.

All in all this movie grabbed me and I’d definitely recommend it, especially if you’re about two people connecting beyond a sexual orientation or if you’re an older woman who would love a story about having courage to experience new things.

Bonus for this movie is that the actress who played Paris is an out lesbian. Something you don’t see hardly ever in lesbian movies. Mostly it’s straight women playing lesbians. So kudos for getting an actual GLBT person to play that role.

Heat level: 3-4- full nudity and sex scenes, very beautifully and aesthetically filmed. Not salacious in any way.

Grade: 5 Stars


I Can’t Think Straight (British)
Lesbian/ Multicultural

Adaptation of book by Shamim Sarif
A 2008 romance film adapted from a same name novel about a London-based Jordanian of Palestinian descent, Tala, who is preparing for an elaborate wedding. A turn of events causes her to have an affair and subsequently fall in love with another woman, Leyla, a British Indian. 

- Written by Shamim Sarif

I have another book written by this author of the book this story is based off of that I’ve yet to read, so I decided to watch this film instead of that one.

What I loved about this film is that this is a love story that happens between two people from very different backgrounds that happens despite familial, cultural, political and generational conflicts.

Both Tala and Leyla are young women caught between two worlds. They are both living in England, although Tala goes back and forth between Jordan and England. They’ve been brought up exposed to western culture, but both have homes and parents that try to keep their own traditional homeland culture alive. This is one of the main conflicts for both of them and also maybe what helps them understand each other even though of different cultural backgrounds.

They meet just by chance as Leyla’s boyfriend is a friend of Tala. Tala is on her 4th wedding planning, having walked out on the first 3 fiancés just before the wedding. Tala is rather rebellious and being from a wealthy family, her whims and flightiness are somewhat tolerated.

Leyla is a lot more deep and serious about life. She’s a Muslim in her heart, mind and belief, but she doesn’t always go to prayer with her family. She’s also struggling with the contradictions of being a woman growing up in a western culture while dealing with her mother who is very strong in trying to keep their Indian culture alive. This especially becomes an issue when she comes out to her family.

Both women clash at first as Tala, who grew up as a Palestinian Christian Arab, argues that religion and belief are bogus, which kind of pisses Leyla off. But slowly they come together and become good friends and find themselves attracted to each other both romantically and sexually.

Of course, as with many romances between women when one is currently with a man, the main problem between them becomes that Tala is getting married. In this case, I was rather surprised that Tala, who seems to be the more open as one who bucks the system in many ways, feels very strongly about not coming out and won’t defy her family’s culture. She argues with Leyla that Leyla doesn’t get how hard it would be to do that with her family and in Jordan, where the man she’s to marry is from.

On the other hand, this affair pushes Leyla internally to decide that she can’t or won’t hide who she is to her family and friends anymore. So until Tala is willing to accept who she is, Leyla will not see her.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t feeling the romance so much between these two women even though it’s shown they have had attractions to women in the past. Somehow it felt a bit too insta-love for me, which is maybe why this film didn’t affect me other than I love stories that include characters of other cultures and in which those cultures are part of the story. I think maybe it’s also because I wasn’t feeling Tala as a character. She was a little too superficial and a bit cocky for me for most of the film and I felt her not really that serious about Leyla.

But I did feel that Leyla is really in love with Tala and she, as a character, made the film for me.

Other than that, I felt the film didn’t shy away from the truths or realities of cultural and political clashes. I feel some people might be offended by some of what is expressed, however, I took all at face value and as a true portrayal of what is real for people of those cultures.

I’d definitely recommend this if you’re looking for something a bit different culturally. But as a romance goes, it was just OK.

Heat level:
2 – some sex, no nudity

Grade: 3 ½ Stars


Kyss Mig -Kiss Me (Swedish)
Lesbian/ bi?

Young woman engaged to be married finds herself in an affair with her stepmother's lesbian daughter.

This was one of the better lesbian movies I saw during my marathon. And I guess from others in the lesbian community they think it’s one of the better ones as well.

Elizabeth and Lassa are an older couple who are about to be married. Both have older, independent children. Lasse had a contentious divorce and his daughter Mia still feels angry with him about what happened. Consequently, she hasn’t visited often. Elizabeth has a grown daughter who is an out lesbian and in a relationship and lives nearby.

At the pre-wedding party, all of them meet for the first time and family drama ensues.

Mia (played by Ruth Vega Fernandez) is sulky and cranky because her father isn’t spending the time with her that she wants. He’s always busy with some job thing. She also shows a pissed/sad face whenever she sees Frida, Elizabeth’s daughter. Frida is light and fun and both Mia’s brother and fiancé are enjoying with Frida. I will say that actress Ruth Vega Fernandez has the perfect sad/pissed off look that worked here.

Anyway, as the days go on, Mia, who is an architect with her fiancé, is to design and extension on a lake house that Lasse and Elizabeth have bought. Lasse was supposed to meet them, but leaves Mia alone with both Elizabeth and Frida, which pisses her off and freaks her out. All of her interactions with Frida show she’s not too happy with this.

However, one night at the cabin, she follows Frida who is out walking in the woods. They barely talk, but then she suddenly kisses Frida. She acts freaked that she did that, but at the same time both women get sexual fairly quickly after that. Of course, as the days go on and they start really falling in love, Frida basically states she will not be a fling for Mia and cuts it off. This forces Mia to confront what she really feels and how far she’s willing to go to be with Frida.

Of course, this new development messes with Mia’s plans for marriage and a lot of pain for all characters in this story happens due to this new love between these women. I felt it was dealt with in a realistic way. I guess there is no easy way to follow your heart when it’s going against everyone you love and the convenience of life at times. But this was one of the better parts of the film.

The only negative thing I will say is that like so many of the lesbian movies I watched these last few weeks, insta-love seemed to be a thing here. I wish there was more of a build-up to why Mia would be attracted to Frida and why Frida would fall so madly in love with Mia that she leaves her long-time girlfriend. There really wasn’t much between them that did show that.

However, what saves this movie is that in the end, I really believed these women want each other badly. Enough that both risk so much to go for it.

For those wondering, this is not really a straight girl falls for a girl and discovers she’s a lesbian. Mia did have a love affair with a woman in the past but felt it freaked her out. So it’s more like lesbian in the closet finally having the guts to be true to herself.

Anyway… this is a definite recommend to watch. I can’t really believe this is the first Swedish lesbian film. Seems like the stereotype that Europeans are more open about stuff like this is not always true.

Heat level: 3-4 Nude sex scene, done showing lots of passion.

Grade: 4 ½ Stars