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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
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 *****
These women, though similar to the "Dykes To Watch Out For" comic
characters, are incredibly realistic in their interactions, activities and
dress patterns/self presentation. There is, after all, a reason that DTWOF
is a hugely popular lesbian comic strip. The characters in "Go Fish" are
modeled after real lesbians, not Hollywood creations. You get the sense
part of the film is scripted, and other parts are ad-libbed. I watched
movie (again and again) and thought THESE ARE DYKES! This is NOT a
Hollywood flick with shiny Hollywood glitz gals and high budget special
effects. This film is RAW, and will appeal to lesbians and independent
lovers. Warning: if you thought "Bound" was the quintessential lesbian
flick, you will NOT like "Go Fish".
A movie is independent, and about gay women, doesn't make it good. And, it's a shame, because the actress who plays the lead character, Max, actually is very good. But the movie is so poorly constructed, and most of her friends are so one-note, that the novelty gets old pretty soon. I was bored halfway through it; there is a clever twist near the end which raised it to a 5 for me, but don't expect much in between.
I saw this movie in the summer of 1994, as a young lesbian who was just comming out of the closet who had never had a girlfriend. I found the chemistry between Max and Ely so real, that I found myself yearning for that kind of relationship. Daria's trail was also very well done, as many lesbians do share that attitude.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was somewhat interesting. The characters in it were well
rounded, but the acting had a lot of room for improvement. This film
revolved around dialogue and there was plenty of it. For the most part
the dialogue was funny and somewhat interesting, but overall this film
mostly felt like a dirty version of Sex and the City: Lesbian Edition.
I did think it was interesting that the film included real depictions
of lesbian women and didn't just have classically beautiful women in it
pretending to be lesbians. It also wasn't afraid to show uncensored
lesbian relationships, which a great number of people in 1994 would
have found repulsive.
The film also included a variety of shots and wasn't afraid to play around with camera angles, but this wasn't necessarily a good thing. A few shots in particular were simply annoying, for instance: the laundry room shot from the drier and the conversation between Max and her black friend in the coffee shop. The transitions in the movie also didn't seem to have much relevance to the plot of the film. Some transitions would be kids playing in the park and others would be up close images of handsthere is one exceptionwhen Daria and one of her sex lackeys are making love it shows Evy splitting some bread in half, but other than that the transitions do not have any relevance. Overall Go Fish is not a bad movie, but it isn't a great one either. I personally would not watch it again given the opportunity.It is a somewhat interesting movie, but it leans heavily on the lesbian aspect and given that this is the twenty-first century it doesn't carry the same shock value that it did back in '94. Don't get me wrong, if the characters in this film were not lesbians it probably wouldn't be interesting at all. In fact it would be the same romantic comedy that we've all seen over one hundred times now.
"Go Fish", at first glance, appears to have all the elements of a good dyke film; good writers, great background, and above all a rather scrumptious leading lady. So why, then, did it fail to even moisten my appetite? There was no energy in the piece. I found myself creating my own little stories in my head to keep me occupied while I watched good material being drawn out to its maximum, and therefore losing all appeal. There was simply no pace, no excitement, and it seemed to me very dated. Guin, please, drag us into the twenty-first century, I know that you are capable of it. And this time, find a gorgeous girl to do it with?
You can see how passionate about the subject the writers Rose Troche and the
fabulously talented Guinevere Turner were about making this movie and it
must have been a labour of love for them.
I don't think this movie is just for gay women, I'm a straight man who enjoyed it too so it must have worked on a lot of levels. I thought it was a beautiful film with a lot to say and was very well shot. It made me a big fan of Guinevere Turner, I just watched Preaching to the Perverted with her in the lead role last night which I also enjoyed immensley...she has a lot of talent and obviously chooses her roles selectively.
It is an arty film which I think some people may watch with the wrong intentions...they will be disappointed but so what...they're not the people the writers intended the movie for.
In retrospect, lots of people would say go fish is a bad movie due to the bad acting and the bad script writing, but that's not the point.The movie go fish, which is the first actual lesbian film, teaches everybody about the ups and downs of every lesbian's lifestyle that most people doesn't seem to recognise in mainstream films during the 1990's and this low budget movie made by real lesbians (in a realistic documentary feel that's similar to spike lee's first movie "She's gotta have it") is very non Hollywood and is not in such total cliché of mainstream films during that decade that portray lesbian/bisexual women as serial killers (i.e. basic instinct and heavenly creatures) and that's what i like most about go fish because it's witty, romantic, and very close to the heart and although it's not the best film ever made, but who knows, a person who is a student in high school or in college might watch the movie during history/social studies class on lesbian history.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was hoping that this movie would actually be interesting. I'm used to artsy films and can usually appreciate them. However, this film was just not my cup of tea at all. First of all, the plot seemed too shallow. The main character finds love with some random woman she was set up with and there is no explanation as to how or why they fall in love. I think the problem was that Troche was trying to hit on some major lesbian issues while at the same time portraying a lesbian love story, but in the end came out too scattered and unstructured. The characters seemed way too stereotypical, almost like they had to reinforce the whole dyke image. Granted this movie was released back in 1994, I knew plenty of lesbians back then who were a lot more feminine and not as obviously gay as the characters in this film. I felt a bit annoyed that they had to sort of scream dyke so loudly by the way they dressed, talked, and wore their hair. That's not to say that I have anything against the butch image, but as a "lipstick" lesbian myself, I felt like the femmes weren't properly represented. The only things that seemed to really give the movie any actual substance were the scenes in which Evie's mother threw her out of the house after she found out she was a lesbian and also the scene in which Daria was being interrogated and jeered at by other lesbians for having sex with a male friend. Those are real issues for us today as lesbians and I liked how she touched upon them, but I felt like Troche could have done more with Daria's scene. So many lesbians out there judge their own kind too much and bisexuality has become so abhorrent in the gay community due to its current trendiness. All in all, it felt like the movie, quite literally and figuratively, was just too black and white for me. (I can disregard the bad acting as this WAS an indie film and many of the actors looked like they were real lesbians with no acting experience who were looking to do a film about their lives.) Troche seems to portray the lesbian world and life as similar to straight life and yet totally different. But it's just not that black and white. Sexuality, in my opinion, is very fluid and I felt like the theme of the movie focused too much on what a lesbian was SUPPOSED to be, feeding into too many stereotypes and clichés.
This film is about lesbians but it has a message for all. First off, it is to me the first film that does not have issues with being a lesbian or gay for that matter. Go Fish works from the inside out and features real members of the chicago lesbian community. Go Fish urges you to just get out there and date rather than waiting for the perfect woman or man. Unlike Philadelphia, it doesnt try and make any pc claims about sex or homosexuality. I give these girls snaps, they put it together for p
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