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Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Liz in September

When Eva is on her way to her vacation her car breaks down in a small isolated coastal town and the local garage mechanic announces that the engine has blown and so she knows she is stranded.  She’s already slightly razzled as she is grieving from the recent death of her only son and has left  her husband behind in Caracas,  and possibly her marriage too. The mechanic tells her that the town’s only hotel is full and so he points her in the direction of a small inn on the beach outside the town. It’s actually a lesbian resort but naive and somewhat distracted Eva doesn’t spot that aspect even when she has dinner with all the other residents that night, who are naturally all women.
 
She was invited to join them by Liz who she had encountered when she first arrived and although they had initially got off on a bad footing, Liz still pounced on the pretty stranger.  The others at dinner include Dolores a famous author and Doctor who is also one of Liz’s exes, plus her current girlfriend Coqui who never misses any opportunity to put the make on Liz too.  There is also Amy, Liz’s oldest friend and her girlfriend, and finally Margot the hotel owner who loves hitting the bottle a little too much.  The women are all horrified to find that there is a now a straight women in their midst, but Liz re-assures them that they have nothing to worry about and anyway she wagers them a bet that she will have Eva in her bed within three days.
 
Liz is the ‘love em and leave em’ type of girl and just thinks that Eva will be the very latest in her long line of conquests. However what neither women expect in the slightest is that in fact she will fall quite hard for Eva, and after initial hesitation, it is clear that the feelings are mutual.  Despite this we already know that this is not going to be a ‘happy ever after’ story as Liz’s cancer has come back and although that news had been only initially shared with Dolores, it soon slips out, especially as everyone is concerned that Liz is having really bad days now.
 
When Eva’s husband turns up to rescue her it looks like Liz may never get to win her bet after she watches them drive off together. However to every one’s surprise Eva returns to this idyllic beach to be with Liz even when she too learns that their time together is going to be very limited.  Love will conquer almost all but it cannot cheat death.
 
This very first Venezuelan lesbian movie was based on a successful stage play ‘Last Summer at Bluefish Cove’ by Jane Chamber and was written and directed by Fina Torres (who is probably hoping we have forgotten the dreadfully trite ‘Prada to Nada’ that she also wrote). Torres keeps the melodrama under control and nicely understated and avoids all the potential histrionics that usually accompany someone young tragically  dying from a terminal illness like this.  She does in fact imbue her script with a great deal of comedy and laughter within the very full and rounded relationships with all the women at the hotel.  The relationship between the confident and cocky Liz and the shy and somewhat vulnerable Eva is played completely naturalistically, and there is never any sense at all of the lesbian corrupting this younger woman in any way, and when they realize their feelings for each other there is no longer any thought of any wager at all.
 
Asides from the idyllic beach location which would make anyone want to fall in love, there is this rather talented cast led by the stunning beautiful ex-model Patricia Velasquez, best known for ‘The Mummy’ movies and ‘The L Word’ on TV.   As Liz the womanizer and good-time girl, she is cool and somewhat serene, and it is immensely rewarding watching her transition to someone who is so surprised and delighted to have fallen in love like this. Her crucial central perfect performance acts as an anchor for this wonderful ensemble of women who fill the screen so delightfully. Even with the inevitably sad ending, the journey to reach that point is such a rich and joyous one.
 


Posted by queerguru  at  11:26

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