Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Late Bloomers

Back in July when I blogged about Desert Hearts, IT mentioned a film in the comments that she recommended I should see with Beloved: the 1996 film Late Bloomers. Friends, she did not lie. It was wonderful.

Yes, there was the naked basketball scene. Which was, truly, lovely and funny and sexy all at the same time. But there was also the un-cocooning of the butterfly motif, in the story of this woman who looks so drab and depressed until she falls in love with the girls' basketball coach. In some ways it reminded me of Lianna, a somewhat earlier (1983) John Sayles film with the same general outline: married oblivious woman falls head over heels with confirmed lesbian (or bachelorette). But "Lianna" is both darker and somewhat less successful a film, artistically. It was ground-breaking when it came out (Beloved saw it with the woman she used to call "the love of my life" until I came along), and has earned a place among the classics of LGBT film. But it is ultimately pretty depressing, with the central character losing, basically, everything. "Late Bloomers", while not entirely plausible (as IT pointed out), still has a ring of both truth and hope about it. Sweet, funny... we laughed hard and went "Mmmmm." That's a good film.


Anonymous said...

I am delighted you enjoyed it! What I liked about that film also is that they were so average-normal looking, not buff and beautiful, but real women with lines and sags....I'm a sucker for a sweet little romance.

And as for the ending, ometimes, a little implausibility is necessary to counter the slings and insults of our unwelcoming world.


Processing Counselor said...

I liked all of these films, although less so the Sayles film. If you liked Desert Hearts, you might want to read "This is Not for You." my favorite of Jane Rule's books. It discusses the struggle of love by a lesbian for a woman who cannot accept her sexuality. I read and reread it a long time ago. (and I met Jane Rule-my favorite.) The book might resonate with you-or not.