Lesbians Sorta in Love

Lili and Courtney get bored and get it on, but not too far

Lili and Courtney try to empty the trash from the trailer
Lili and Courtney try to empty the trash from the trailer

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Playing at 9:00 p.m. on April 30 as part of the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
The Colony Theater

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Gosse's approach is blunt but not very courageous or thoughtful. The volatile relationship between Julie and Claire isn't explored; it's merely noted. The confusion over sexuality and identity, the real attraction between these women, is missing. Certainly the single love scene seems restrained, lacking much sensuality or risk. Compared with any number of current lesbian stories back through Nicole Conn's Claire of the Moon, Donna Deitch's Desert Hearts, or even John Sayles's Lianna, Gosse seems downright uninterested in emotional complexity. Just about every character and situation is handled in simplistic fashion. The cops are brutish and domineering. Julie's friends and neighbors mistrust change and view self-improvement as a threat, while the physics professor and his friends are tolerant and supportive. This schema sets up a number of disturbing assumptions: that all working-class people are homophobic and anti-intellectual; that all white-collar people are enlightened and superior; and that, worst of all for a so-called queer film, women become lesbians because of bad marriages. This array of ideas might have been understandable 25 years ago, but as a modern-day story, much of Julie Johnson is pretty hard to swallow.

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