|Index||4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Thank the Powers That Be (or in this case the makers of this film) for
a queer-women focused film that does not contain any of the following:
-Lesbians committing suicide
- Lesbians sleeping with men
-Lesbians dealing with coming out
- Duels and insanity
- Sex scenes that imply all women do in bed together is giggle and kiss
What this does have: Musical elements! Comedy and drama in good, not awkwardly transitioned doses. Quality sex scenes! Use of the word queer and great use of Chicago as a location. Authentic, REALISTIC looking women (in comparison to size zero, model- like straight women who don't know the first thing about being queer) Surprisingly amazing cinematography for an independent, presumably small-budget film.
I can't wait till this is on DVD and I hope everyone interested gets a chance to see it when it becomes available. You will not regret it. This is the movie I wish existed when I was younger. Instead I got Lost and Delirious...
Jamie and Jessie are Not Together is a sweet and endearing lesbian
musical-comedy with the ability to sustain itself solely off the charm
of its leading actresses, Jacqui Jackson and Jessica London Shields,
who play Jamie and Jessie, respectively. They are two long-term
roommates until Jamie plans to move to New York City to further her
acting career, greatly upsetting, Jessie, who has been harboring
unrequited love for her roommate for months. Their love is pleasantly
unremarkable; the two girls casually converse, eat together, and hang
out around town with one another without having contrived and heartfelt
scenes, such as passionate love-making in the rain. It's that alone
that makes this film almost worth recommending.
Much of the film concerns the social circle of these young ladies; Jamie is currently in a relationship with Rhonda (Fawzia Mirza), who she sees regularly, whilst Jessie finds herself seeing Elizabeth (Marika Engelhardt) after Jessie finds her bike violated one day, much to the dismay of Jamie. The constant circle of relationships here makes for a lot of unspoken tension, particularly the sexual kind on Jessie's behalf, who, while harboring these feelings and knowing her longtime best friend will soon be hundreds of miles away, is trying to replace that void with someone else without much success.
The film is, indeed, a musical, albeit an inconsistent one. Long stretches of the film occur without a single song being sung, which provides for tonal inconsistency, though not a real bother. The more baffling feature are two bald, bearded gentleman, who find themselves precariously placed in a variety of situations involving the two titular leads without any explanation, in a very Statler-and-Waldorf style deviation from the film's events. Certain setups like these give Jamie and Jessie a real homie feel for an indie film; the kind made amongst friends over the course of a month in order to create some sort of lively spark.
The charm of the film is a difficult one to summarize; it lacks the cheap aesthetic of your average mumblecore film and its dialog resorts to momentary charm rather than longstanding, verbal impact on a viewer. After some contemplation, I think Jamie and Jessie largely works because it's emotionally honest in such a tough situation; we simply watch Jessie try to get her life in order when her best friend and true love is moving on from their small apartment in an attempt to try and better herself and her situation. For Jessie to express her feelings for Jamie is the potential for Jamie to hold herself back and not rising to her complete potential, yet to remain silent and allow her to go on with her life without any admission of true feeling is to potentially cripple yourself with unhappiness and loneliness for a good portion of your life.
Writer and directress Wendy Jo Carlton is wise in making this film largely predicated off of the charming commonality of the musical numbers (almost making their goofiness resemble your average Troma musical number) and the relationships in this film very open and honest. The film also portrays lesbian culture in a beautifully natural way, where the characters don't walk around proclaiming their gayness, but simply acting and living their day-to-day lives without the ostensible purpose to make a statement or proclaim their differences. Carlton looks past all that to show a culture so predicated on "seeing people" and searching for someone to fill a hole or take pride in that, when deeper feelings come around, a real human struggle begins to occur.
Starring: Jacqui Jackson, Jessica London-Shields, Fawzia Mirza, Marika Engelhardt, Tinuade Oyelowo, and Sienna Harris. Directed by: Wendy Jo Carlton.
While the musical aspect of this movie doesn't quite work out, the movie is amazingly well-written and avoids so many LGBT film tropes (involving deaths and too many straight men and the usual coming-out narrative). The characters feel very real, they're well-rounded and their arc in the movie is arrived at in a really good way, that while you feel some kind of 'if only...' you understand why it's best that way. All the ladies were beautiful and relatable and people you would root for. I'm also glad to not have an all- white movie, meaning the characters of color had substance and significance and weren't just there to fill some quota. I really wish we had more films like this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I enjoyed watching this film! While not a cinematographic masterpiece, it is a very interesting and fun film within the genre and it's definitely refreshing. Compared to other lighthearted lesbian films, like "Girltrash: All Night Long" and "The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls In Love", it definitely has a long ways to go, but I think this film is worthwhile nonetheless. The thing I'm most positive about in this film is the fact that it's just an enjoyable story to follow. It's lighthearted, fun and funny at times, and while it definitely has some dramatic moments, the film itself isn't one big drama or tragedy, unlike many other lesbian films. And for once, homosexuality isn't an actual focus point for the plot. Of course, it plays it's parts, but it's not made out to be a big deal, which is something I, personally, love to see in my queer films. The story itself was fun to follow, albeit not the most original and at times, a bit slow. Nonetheless, as a young queer woman myself, I thought the overall story felt natural and was very recognizable. *SPOILER* Something I especially liked about this film is how it was true to its name and didn't fall into clichés by having Jessie and Jamie end up together. When I first stepped into the film, I had the idea they would, in the end, be together. But as the film progressed, I kept feeling that Jessie and Jamie were so different, and that, really, they just shouldn't be. The fact that they didn't was a pleasant surprise. *END SPOILER* Jessie and Jamie, as characters, were generally well-written and believable. Jessie was a very recognizable character. Surely every queer girl has, at some point, fallen for their best friend, right? I liked her a lot as a main character. Jamie I didn't like as much, but I don't think that's a negative thing. I just disliked her as a person, what with her being kinda selfish sometimes and taking Jessie for granted. I think her character had a very distinct personality and was mostly well-written, although for most of the film I felt like I couldn't really grasp her motives (I still find them very vague.) The minor characters weren't anything outstanding, but neither were they bad. I very much liked the musical additions, but not all of the songs were lyrically that well-written, and at certain points I felt the songs didn't really add anything to the film. Like I said, I thought they were a fun addition, but I doubt I would've missed them if they weren't in it. All in all, I'd definitely recommend this film to any of my queer friends looking for a fun watch for a Friday evening. I think it deserves a little more attention than it's received!
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