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Max is a trendy, pretty, young lesbian, who is having trouble finding love. A friend sets her up with Ely, whom Max likes, but Ely is frumpy, homely, and older. Nor do they have much in common. Can Max learn to look past the packaging? Written by
This may be the first time you hear me say this, but Go Fish was too artistic and dated for my enjoyment. I think that if I had seen this film when it was first released back in 1994 I would have been impressed. This was a very avant-garde film that tried very hard to discuss an issue that was very "hush-hush" back in the early 90s. Lesbians were very closeted back then and were not a major part of the culture norm as they are today (well, as much as we recognize them today). This makes for a very provocative film, but it also makes for a very dated film. This was my biggest issue with this film was that it nearly felt like a comedy instead of this symbolic struggle to pursue happiness like any heterosexual relationship. I realize that director Rose Troche was trying to show us that a lesbian relationship is no different than a male and female relationship and even lesbians talk like men talk about women, but somehow it just felt very dated and cliché for me. It didn't open more doors in my mind to the lifestyle of lesbians, but instead gave me this dated image of this butch lesbian that is rebelling against something instead of embracing the true lifestyle.
The black and white photography, while symbolically trying to show the black and white of the situation and relationship, just felt like an art film. This was an art film, so what am I griping about? I guess I just didn't want to see an art film with this topic. I wanted to see something along the lines of Kids or even a documentary, not something where the uneducated will laugh at and ridicule even harder. I wanted a film that was going to punch me in the face, not build upon dated/old clichés that instead poked my mind randomly and not very hard. It was unimpressive. It wasn't bold film-making, but instead just this random, average production about a lesbian love story. Was it to be educational? I think there were elements that could have been explored greater and into detail to cross that education/lifestyle acceptance line. The scene dealing with bisexuality is the first that comes to mind. This probably sounded great on paper, but when it was actually filmed out, it seemed high schoolish and bland. The inner voices were not struggling with the character, but instead causing confusion and chaos that will never be resolved. Another scene that could have played out just a bit better was the dinner scene where a group of lesbians have gathered for a party. There could have been more discussed between the lesbians like lifestyle, issues, and current problems (that would help with the dated feel) instead of just sex, sex, and more sex.
That was a huge downfall for me was the constant reminder that all these women wanted was to have sex. There were times when I was watching this film where I felt a bit of sweetness in my mouth because I thought there was some candy-coating happening. This does not need to happen in a film that is supposed to bring the lesbian lifestyle closer into the spotlight. I never felt that these women in this film were given the best light to show their stuff anyway. From the beginning of the first scene until the last (and all those snippets in-between) all they could talk about was sex. They wanted to have sex more often than I honestly think about in a day. It really made the rest of the non-existent themes seem blurry and unimportant. There was just a consistent lack of togetherness for this film that ultimately hurt it in the long run. This wasn't a film about women's rights, but instead a dire attempt to show the similarities between homosexual and heterosexual relationships. I agree that this happened, but just not very coherently. There seemed to be other elements strewn together in a very loose fashion that took away from the overall power of the film. Don't get me wrong, this could have been a very powerful film about a lifestyle that this world is still not accepting, but instead it went too far to the left (which isn't bad, except in this case) and chose to go the bleeding artist route instead of the informative, here are the facts route. The black and white photography, the lack of character development (who really was Ely's partner?), and the cheesy moments between scenes where women talked to me about the illusive "honey pot". It just wasn't coming together well for me and eventually fell apart all together.
Overall, I was not impressed. There are greater films out there that express the power of the relationship and do not create this unimpressive "raw" sensation by trying to shock the audiences. One of my favorites is the film Big Eden which accepts homosexuality like it is commonplace in society. If Go Fish would have been done in a similar style, I think I could have walked away from the film with a better taste in my mouth. Instead, I am stuck with an unimpressive story that did nothing except joke about why lesbian women like to play the game "Go Fish". Ha ha ha h .it just isn't working for me. I do not recommend this film in the least bit. There was one, singular scene that made me chuckle and for the likes of me I cannot remember why. It was an unmemorable feast of bad cinema. Skip it.
Grade: * out of *****
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