Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

The Foxy Merkins, or: Are You a Women’s Studies Major?

Another week, another big gay film review!

My pick for this week is The Foxy Merkins as it’s Madeline Olnek’s latest (director of Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same, still one of my favorite films I’ve reviewed, and hands down winner of best title on this blog. Probably also best film title, period).

See what Christa thinks of The Foxy Merkins here!

The Film:

The Foxy Merkins

Where to Watch:

Netflix (US)

The Premise:

Lesbian hooker Jo becomes a mentor to Margaret, who is practically the Kenneth of lesbian prostitutes. Way more 30 Rock references in that summary than I intended.

The Uncondensed Version:

The events of our film unfold in New York City as we follow Margaret, a down on her luck former women’s studies major. Since she can’t find any other work, Margaret has become a lesbian prostitute; however, she’s quite terrible at getting women to pick her up.

It doesn’t take long before Jo, a seasoned pro, takes Margaret under her wing. This is both a blessing and a curse as Margaret could use some help, but Jo is not the expert she believes herself to be. Jo comes from a wealthy family and lives in the bathroom of the Port Authority as an act of rebellion. She gives Margaret advice about going up to women and touching them (which, shockingly, doesn’t go over well) and tells her she is the kind of lesbian other women don’t want to be seen with. Jo is a bit of a frenemy, honestly.

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New meaning to the shirt dress.

Case in point: Margaret gets tickets to see the digitally remastered Lassie in theaters (seriously), and Jo gives her pointers on picking up a woman who’s giving her the eye. The end result is the woman crawling on the floor and eating Margaret’s popcorn. Literally. Not a euphemism, you guys.

Meanwhile, there is a bit of an ongoing subplot involving finding Margaret’s mom. When Margaret and Jo look for her in a graveyard, they encounter a man in a trench coat selling merkins (editor’s note: a merkin is a wig for, uh, down there. Maybe you already knew that, but I didn’t. Or if I did I repressed it LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO). So anyway…it’s all coming together, and our title makes sense now.

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THIS SCENE, GUYS. PLEASE AT LEAST WATCH THIS SCENE.

Margaret and Jo go back to their usual spot to find clients, standing outside of Talbots. In terms of getting picked up, Margaret is still not having a ton of luck—one woman was interested until she realized the 70% off sign was for Talbots, not her. This seems to turn around a bit when a wealthy woman approaches Margaret, asking her to meet her at a particular hotel within the hour. As it turns out, this woman’s fetish is being busted by the police, so she hires men to come to the room and arrest Margaret. Poor Margaret doesn’t realize all of this is a setup until Jo tells her. Understandably, she feels a bit betrayed.

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Every screencap makes me realize I’ve failed to mention more witty dialogue. To be fair, this film is 85% witty dialogue.

Later, Margaret recognizes the woman as a Republican Congresswoman. Jo reveals she “accidentally secretly” recorded Margaret with the Congresswoman and wants to sell the tape to CNN. This is a major dick move, as Margaret expresses her discomfort with the idea of becoming rich and (in)famous because of a sex tape.

Though the plot is not really the point of the film, I’m going to leave you in suspense about what happens with the sex tape and Margaret’s growing feelings for Jo. There is some excellent dialogue where both plot points are concerned.

The Critique:

Much like Codependent Lesbian Space Alien, this film is driven by message and character over plot. Both films use sort of a documentary style, and a lot of the comedy is based on the awkwardness of the characters and dialogue.

There are a lot of nice comedic touches, like Margaret and Jo always have to compliment the cleanliness and general appeal of their client’s homes. And I HAVE to mention that when Margaret rejects payment in the form of a Talbots gift card, the client tells her, “Every other time I’ve been to a lesbian hooker, they’ve accepted a gift card to Talbots.”

I think Codependent was a bit more successful as it was more bizarre and had more likeable characters. In Codependent, even Zylar, who was a total player and broke one of the other alien’s hearts, was still likeable and funny. However, in Foxy Merkins, Margaret was basically the only decent human being. Jo was funny but also sort of terrible in contrast to how sweet and genuine Margaret was.

Still another solid film from Madeleine Olnek. I did some searching, and apparently girl just got a Guggenheim Fellowship…I hope that means she’s making a shitload of films.

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherHalf Pink Panther head 3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

I think Codependent Lesbian Space Alien is a bit more quirky and fun to watch, but this is still worth seeing. Make it your mission to watch Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same.

Find Christa’s review here!

In other news, someone searching for “moon nazis are coming” found my blog (Iron Sky was the first film I reviewed for this blog). DREAMS DO COME TRUE.

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Film Reviews

Super Bowl Sunday: A Time for Lesbian Alien Romance

While the rest of ‘Murica watches the Super Bowl, what am I doing? Reviewing movies about lesbians from outer space. Duh.

The Film:

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same

Where to Watch:

Netflix

The Premise:

Lesbian space aliens whose uncontrolled emotions have destroyed the ozone layer of their planet arrive on Earth to overcome their feelings.

The Trailer:

The Uncondensed Version:

Our film opens with a therapy session in which Earthling Jane describes a note that reads “What are you doing later?” dropping out of the sky. The therapist suggests these fantasies prevent her from acting on her desires; she is unable to put herself out there and talk to other women.

Cut to an alien news broadcast covering the destruction of ozone in the planet’s atmosphere: when feelings of love become too intense, they leave the body and destroy the ozone layer. The aliens Zylar, Barr, and Zoinx, whose feelings threaten the ozone, must be sent to Earth to prevent further damage. By spending time with Earthlings and having their hearts broken, they will be numb and unable to love anymore.

Meanwhile, these MIB types are on a stakeout, presumably on the lookout for any lesbian alien activity (this film is not a porno, I promise).

As soon as she arrives on Earth, Zylar places a personal ad reading (you guessed it) “codependent lesbian space alien seeks same,” which gets her quite a few more dates than you might imagine. However, they are not particularly successful dates as Zylar is (understandably) a bit strange.

Zoinx, on the other hand, wanders into the stationery store where Jane works, hoping to purchase a radio transmitter. Jane finds Zoinx delightfully quirky, and the two go on a date together. (My cat sat on my lap at this point, which suggests he was rooting for Jane and Zoinx as a couple.) After going to a movie, they head back to Jane’s place. Zoinx asks “Is it permissible for me to touch you?” and touches Jane’s nose. (HOT LESBIAN ACTION.)

Apologies to all internet creeps who were actually looking for hot lesbian action. This is about as hardcore as this movie and blog get.
Apologies to all internet creeps who were actually looking for hot lesbian action. This is about as hardcore as this movie and blog get.

As we discover, Zylar and Barr were in a relationship, but they’re trying to move on. They don’t actually want to be heartbroken, so they just try to be sad. For example, the indifference of a revolving dessert tray is sad in the way that “the cheesecake comes towards us and then revolves away.” Pretty devastating.

Barr wants to be in a committed relationship, but Zylar has started vlogging about her various relationships. In her vlog, she tells one of her lovers “I said I would meet your family, but I didn’t think we’d be going out this long.” Barr discovers Zylar’s online presence after she brings her cheesecake, which is a pretty fucking romantic gesture if you ask me.

Meanwhile, the MIB keep tabs on Jane and Zoinx. The two ladies are on a date at Coney Island. As the MIB watch they discuss what exactly constitutes a lesbian date, Boston cream donuts, as well as the Little Mermaid-themed wedding of the older officer. Apparently children weren’t allowed at the wedding: “We made sure everyone had a great time by not forcing them to spend time with children.” Pure genius.

After Jane and Zoinx leave Coney Island, there’s an incredibly awkward shower scene; Zoinx doesn’t take off her collar.

Not sure which is more awkward:  Zoinx's facial expression or her refusal to take off the collar.
Not sure which is more awkward: Zoinx’s facial expression or her refusal to take off the collar.

Later Jane tells Zoinx she has a gift for her: a mug with “Zoinx” written on it (which initially said “Zoe,” but Jane she painted over the rest of the letters). They go to a movie together, but Zoinx is very distant. At this point, Zoinx confesses she’s a space alien; she wanted to tell Jane earlier, but she thought it would be too difficult to believe. Funnily enough, Jane has no trouble believing Zoinx is an alien.

Suddenly, the aliens are called back to their planet since it’s been discovered that it’s not emotion destroying the ozone layer, but the sun reflecting on their bald heads.   Zylar seems to be up to her usual antics and goes on a dating show. On this show, two men have to guess which answer to a series of questions belongs to each participant. This is actually all part of Zylar’s plan to communicate with Zoinx that they’ll be returning to their planet.

Bonus points if you can guess which one was Zylar's answer!
Bonus points if you can guess which one was Zylar’s answer!

The MIB attempt to intercept the aliens before their journey home. The younger guy who is kind of a jackass suddenly starts shimmering. When they spot the aliens, he deliberately fails to follow them; the other guy gets out of the car to pursue them on foot, but they escape. Ultimately, the jerk MIB guy just sort of disappears at the end. (WHAT.)

All of the aliens leave Earth in their extremely low-budget UFO, and Jane decides to leave with them in order to be with Zoinx.

Not sure if UFO or burrito...
Not sure if UFO or burrito…

The Critique:

This movie was a pleasant surprise. It’s obviously very low-budget, but it takes advantage of that to create some really funny awkward pauses and strange dialogue.

It embraces the strangeness without falling into the po-mo hipster bullshit category.

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink Panther 4/5 Pink Panther Heads

For once, I have nothing else to add. I approve of this film.