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[personal profile] scriptamanet
In retrospect, a title as cheesy as I Can't Think Straight should have been my first warning.

The premise of the movie itself is a really good one, made better by the fact that it's semi-autobiographical. Cross-cultural lesbians (twice-over, no less) is an inherently interesting way to examine race and sexuality. It's too bad the actors are mediocre, the script is predictable, and more attention is paid to the lavishness of the scenery than the lighting of said background.

The script really is everything you'd expect from a cliched coming-out story, yet somehow even more disappointing. The only times you can't practically quote along with the actors are when the dialogue gets too bizarre. At one point Tala refers to a fiance as something she 'let [her] mother pressurize [her] into". I immediately replayed the scene, of course, to confirm that yes, someone who writes for a living included that kind of mangling of grammar into her script. Characters we're not supposed to like are signalled by their heavy-handed use of anti-Israeli rhetoric, only to be countered by even more dense condemnation of Palestinian reaction to Israeli actions from the characters who are our heroes. It doesn't even seem to have any place in the movie; it's just a handy marker to tell us who the 'good guys' are, and remind us how the scriptwriter feels about the Middle East

The Wiki page describes Leyla as artless, but honestly, I'd apply the adjective to the whole movie. There's no cathartic element to Tala and Leyla's eventual happy ending, because there's no sympathy to be had for the characters, and as such it draws away one of the appealing aspects of lesbian film. After the first twenty minutes of film, I was torn between thinking 'at least it's only a little over an hour' and 'Bend It Like Beckham did it better'. Yes, the lesbian plot was cut from Bend It Like Beckham. And it's still better! Think about that.
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scriptamanet

January 2012

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