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Desert Hearts (1985)
You can't just watch this movie once
I've always heard about this movie, but never got around to seeing it until just a couple weeks ago. While watching it the first time, I wasn't impressed. I thought the cinematography was odd & some parts were hard to follow. I loved the music, but wished it didn't drown out what seemed to be important dialogue. Although I didn't really like it that much the first time, certain scenes & lines from the movie stuck with me. I watched again a few days later & LOVED IT. Since I knew the gist of what was going on I was able to follow along a lot better. Now, I don't think I could ever tire of watching it.
I knew of this movie's reputation as a "classic" but I didn't realize it was released in 1986 until after I had watched it that first time. That fact floored me. I would've loved to been old enough back then to see it for the first time on screen. I'm sure it was extremely groundbreaking.
Some may say the build up of the romance between Cay & Vivian was slow, but I thought it really worked. The attraction between the two was immediate. Cay obviously had a crush, & Vivian was intrigued. This was apparent when Vivian jumped at the chance to deliver Cay's mail. The whole love story was built around lingering glances, shy smiles, & building sexual tension.
Patricia Charbonneau & Helen Shaver deliver wonderful & believable performances. The chemistry between the two is undeniable. I'm honestly surprised that those two did not have more prosperous acting careers, especially Ms Charbonneau. Her sultry & smokey performance of Cay was spot on. Had I seen this movie when I was younger I would've been lusting hardcore over her character.
I would've given this 10 stars if the music hadn't drowned out dialogue & some lines would've been more articulate. Helen has an amazing & unique voice, but sometimes she would drop her sentences. Also, Andra Akers seemed to talk fast & drop her sentences, as well (in the bathtub w/ Cay, for example). A perfect example of the music drowning out the dialogue is when Cay & Vivian are naked together in the windowsill after the after-dinner fight. Cay says "You'll never need me as much as I need you" & we can't hear Vivian's response. This may be intentional by the director, but it drives me crazy, nonetheless.
All in all, this movie definitely needs to be in every lesbian's video library. Even though it's a movie from 1986 set in the 1950s the story is absolutely timeless.
Out of Practice (2005)
I was NOT expecting to like this one...I was GREATLY surprised!
I LOVE this show!!! I saw previews for it all summer & I thought it was going to be so stupid...but then I watched a few episodes...
Now, I am NOT a sitcom fan. I find most of them so boring and dumb. There are a few I've genuinely loved, like Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond. Out of Practice is a classic in the making.
First of all, the pairing of Henry Winkler & Stockard Channing is BRILLIANT.
Second, the humor keeps me in stitches. Last week I was watching from my gym, where there are about 20 TV's to choose from, and you can plug in headphones to the machine you're using and pick which TV to watch from. I was watching this show & laughing so hard I had people looking at me like I was crazy. I've never seen such great use of irony as a comedic vehicle before. The humor is simply brilliant.
Third, at first glance the characters in the show are pretty generic...the divorced parents, the womanizing son, the "underachieving" son, & the lesbian daughter. But the character development becomes apparent in just a few episodes & each one brings life to the show.
Fourth, being a lesbian myself I REALLY like a gay character being more than comic relief in a show. I relate a lot to this particular aspect of the show because of how MY family reacts to me being gay. In my experience, the reactions from the parents and the siblings are dead on. This being said...I don't think the GENERAL public is ready for a gay themed storyline being this prominent in a sitcom. The majority of the public simply wouldn't understand them & would even see such a prominent gay storyline as "in your face". I REALLY want this show to last several years, so my only piece of advice to the directors would be to cut back on all the lesbian references. Plus, I'd like to know more about the life of the daughter, besides the fact that she's a lesbian.
The bottom line is that this is a great show and is worthy of a look. I honestly think this has the potential to be a GREAT sitcom.