The lure of the lesbian movie. Who among us can resist?
The “us” I refer to would be other lesbians. I’m not trying to exclude anyone, but if I tossed that question out to the general public, a great many would say they have no problem resisting. And if I then explained that by “lesbian movie,” I mean the type of movie you go see in a theater and not the kind you bring up on your electronic viewing device of choice when you finally have the house to yourself for 15 minutes, all those who agreed that they’re tough not to watch, would move over to the “it’s no problem” camp.
And I’m sure there are some who would be undecided. Many have never seen a lesbian movie and would prefer viewing one before making any decisions about how tempting they might or might not be.
Opinions about the resistability, or lack there of, of lesbian movies runs the gamut. But when it comes down to it, the most important thing to keep in mind is that my question was rhetorical and didn’t warrant an answer.
I would guess that the lesbian movie watching experience for today’s young lesbians is different than mine was. I don’t hang out with any lesbians who are at that all important coming-of-age point in their lives; but if I did, it would be somewhat creepy.
During my formative years, we had to go to a theater and pay to see a movie that might bear some resemblance to our lives. And on a previous post I mentioned that the only lesbian role model I had was Jo Polniacsek on Facts Of Life, and she wasn’t even a lesbian. I just wanted her to be.
These movies helped me feel like everything was going to be alright. Women were falling in love on the big screen, and there wasn’t angry mob of villagers with pitchforks and torches gathering outside the theater. When I attended the first gay pride festival in Orange County, angry villagers did gather. I don’t know if any had pitchforks, torches or signs reading “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” (The sign-wavers and religious pamphlet hander-outers just love their clever little saying. But what most fail to realize is that the joke is so old, the first person who said it was actually Jesus. True story). I couldn’t see the mob, however, because the police and festival organizers were so concerned about our safety, they locked down the festival grounds with us inside.
For those who’ve never seen a lesbian movie, there are some basic rules that screenwriters and directors are encouraged to follow. I’d like to share some of those directives here, and have put together a few visual aides that I hope are helpful.
I’m not going to tell you the rule this first example follows. I think it will be more fun to see how many people can guess the rule just from watching the video. I’ve added in a couple of clues further along in this post, so look for them if you’re stumped. But keep in mind that some of these are very subtle, so don’t feel bad if you can’t figure it out.
This next video features a rule I like to think of as The Almost. It’s very common for a movie to have a scene where the leads are moving in for a kiss, but are interrupted right at the pivotal moment by something, or by one of the characters realizing she’s not yet ready for this. I can only assume film-makers do this to keep the viewer hooked in will-she-or-won’t-she anticipation. Hint: It’s a lesbian movie. She will. They always do.
The Almost delays the kiss and amps up the excitement for the main event. Some movies use a secondary anticipation escalation device called The Comeback in which the pursuer is resigned to the fact she’ll never get the pursue-ee, only to have said pursue-ee rush in or suddenly turn around and and plant a big kiss on the pursuer, as if she is helpless to do anything else. The pursue-ee generally reacts as though she’s just been given the best kiss that has ever happened in the history of kissing. That part is actually based in fact; the first lesbian kiss is so moving and powerful, the only way to accurately describe it is with Morgan Freeman’s voice.
I hope you enjoyed today’s Lesson in Lesbianing and that it inspired you to watch a lesbian move for the first time, or go back and re-watch an old favorite. And please remember that movie lesbians are to real life lesbians what girl-on-girl porn is to real life girl-on-girl sex … a fun little romp, but not the most accurate depiction of us. Watch a movie if you want to be entertained, but if you want to know what the real deal is with lesbians, ask one.