It’s summer. It’s hot. We’re looking for a film with a bit less intensity than The Witch but with a message of female empowerment…and lesbians. This month we’re highlighting films about same-sex relationships between women (and possibly men if we feel like it), which I’m informally referring to as the Summer of Love. Month of Love? Either way, count on many significant stares, secret meetings at night, and…the use of coffee to express feelings?
Two women mourning the same man unexpectedly develop romantic feelings for each other.
Though she has been quite happily married for 4 years, Lucia has decided to call it quits with husband Adrian. Why? Adrian’s recent promotion will take him to New York, while Lucia feels the need to stay in Bogota to support her brother and his fiancée.
Just a few days before, Lucia and her brother Andrés weren’t even on speaking terms–why the sudden change of heart? A car accident on Andrés’ wedding day puts more than one plan on hold, leaving Lucia devastated. Instead of attending the funeral for her brother, Lucia hides out in his apartment, discovering another mourner left behind: Mariana, the fiancée.
The two women bond immediately over their shared grief. Lucia is full of regrets over the way she treated her brother, calling him a monster during their final conversation. However, through Mariana, Lucia hears about the last few years of her brother’s life and his happy relationship with Mariana.
Rather than return home to her husband, Lucia stays with Mariana–that is, until movers come to clear out Andrés’ apartment. In the empty apartment, the two women light candles (and drink copious amounts of wine) to honor Andrés. On Lucia’s insistence, she and Mariana visit Andrés’ grave and bring him flowers.
Though the two women return to their separate lives, they still feel a strong connection. Somewhat impulsively, the two set out for the town where Lucia and Andrés grew up. Staying together in a hotel room with one bed leads to a sudden change in their relationship status…but when Lucia regrets their night together, will it snuff out the spark before it’s had a chance to grow?
3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads
My favorite part of this film is the relationship between Mariana and Lucia, which feels authentic and natural. A scene where they communicate through slurps of a straw is unique and sweet without being sappy.
Though the relationship feels real, it does take a long time for it to develop onscreen. However, the biggest problem with the film is its melodramatic start. Not only do we get a slow-mo car accident involving a shattered family portrait, but a dramatic bride running away from the church in tears. Probably the first 20 minutes of the film are scenes of Lucia and/or Mariana crying…which I understand, but still gets to be a bit much.
The melodrama is undercut by Lucia having a rather petty reason for cutting herself off from her brother. The futility of holding onto grudges is important to this film thematically, but it just sort of makes Lucia look like an asshole.
Overall, the chemistry between our two leads makes this one worth it.