Girl Play (2004)

Robin Greenspan and Lacie Harmon

This film surprised me by how much I actually enjoyed it, perhaps not the most ringing of endorsements but… Surprisingly it failed to fall into the undesirable triptych trap seen predominantly, though not exclusively, within the lesbian genre of film ie. Writer(s)/actor(s)/producer(s) and or director(s) are all the same person(s). I think this film saved itself from a similar fate for several reasons.

  1. The writing is actually pretty good, a good sign and start for any movie.
  2. Lee Friedlander joined on as a third producer/director, thus adding another viewpoint and providing a voice of reason a step away from the ‘action’
  3. Greenspan and Harmon are, for the most part, pretty good performers, though Greenspan is exaggeratedly expressive of face during her monologues which can be off putting though is reasonably forgivable.

This film, given that it is apparently from a stage play that Harmon and Greenspan co-wrote about meeting each other and therefore based in truth… or ‘truth’ depending on how you might choose to look at it. A film that is based on truth could be seen as incredibly self-indulgent, but this film manages to just about shy away from that pitfall, though I couldn’t in all honesty pinpoint just how they manage it. I was almost to the end before I came to the conclusion that it could be viewed as self-indulgent.

I was surprised by how much I liked it, (though I’m not putting it into my top ten or anything crazy like that) especially since I had been putting of watching it, for one reason or another. I think it was probably because of the overall ‘truth’ of it struck me, their honesty (or ‘honesty’) and not shying away from subjects such as Lacie doing cocaine etc.

I loved the soundtrack, especially the two songs by Sara Bareilles; Fairytale and Gravity. I like the dual use of action and monologue and also the idea of a film based on a play that has performing a play as it’s central theme. I like the utilisation of what are essentially universal themes, no matter how personal this film might be to Harmon and Greenspan, which I think is also why it manages to avoid the self-indulgence aspect.

Overall this film was far more worthwhile watching than I had originally anticipated.



About Nerdsbian

I am a nerd for ALL seasons. Ravenclaw...natch. I am a genderqueer Librarian who unsurprisingly likes reading...a lot. But I also love being outside too...sometimes even reading at the same time. Also animals, any and all of them. Never yet met one that didn't get on with me and vice versa. I do a couple of different voluntary jobs (animal charity related), I am a Brownie Leader and have recently completed my MA.
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