Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Review Time - Lianna


We all know that lesbian movies have a bad rep.

And to be honest…they have a bad rep for a reason.

This movie is part of that reason.

I’ve no doubt that in the 80’s, when this film was released, Lianna was ground breaking, shocking and pushing the boundaries of film. But now, in the 21st century, it seems like an extremely dull documentary based on a woman’s 1980's domestic routine with a weird sapphic twist.

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Lianna is experiencing a life based on housework, an unattentive husband and annoying children, so starts taking a night class to give her something to do and give her husband some space. And who does she meet there, but the lovely lesbian lecturer, Ruth. Then *boom*,the lesbianism suddenly kicks in.

Boobs and naked arse aplenty along with classic slow motion sex scenes where it’s all gentle caresses, inaudible whispers and faaaaar too much eye contact. 

Over all, weird and slightly uncomfortable sex that made me feel more awkward than aroused.

So they strike up an affair, and Lianna, being like every baby-gay ever, gets a little too enthusiastic and starts talking about leaving her husband, them moving in together and how wonderful their forever-after will be. The reaction from Ruth is about what you would expect. Leaving Lianna newly-out and on her own, trying to figure out what being gay means to her.

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The gay scene in the film is weirdly wholesome. There’s no dark seediness, it’s all arm swaying, hugs and clapping your hands along to the music. Although a few classic one night stands make an appearance, it’s a world away from what the lesbian sub-culture is now.

An hour and 20 minutes in I was falling asleep, wondering what the hell else could happen in the last half hour of the movie.

The answer…not a lot.

Overall…it’s an okay movie. 30 years ago I’m sure I would be singing its gay praises and gushing over the joy of finally seeing lesbian sex on screen. But now…it’s sort of lost its potency. Now, I found it to be out of touch and not quite old enough to be seen as a nostalgic classic, leaving it to fall into a sort of timeless limbo for the next  10 years.

That’s not to say there aren’t positives about this film. For starters, I find it hilarious that the only male character is called Dick. But the other characters and storyline will resonate with most lesbians.


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Every lesbian will remember being like Lianna, a newly-out little lesbian getting overly excited in her first gay relationship and going from zero to lets-move-in-together in 10 seconds flat. A lot of ladies will also sympathise with the other half of the relationship, Ruth, as the older more experienced lesbian who is slowly backing away towards the door from the whirlwind of over-enthusiastic baby gay.

The script is a little wooden, the storyline a little odd and abrupt, but still a story that a lot of gay people will relate to especially if they came out a little later in life.

So…not awful.

I would say it earned its 1.3 star rating on Netflix 

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