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Bar Girls (1994, 93 minutes)

October 10, 2010

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Summary:

L.A. lesbians hang out at the local bar, meet, fall in love, become jealous and cause all kinds of trouble. One couple in particular (Rachel and Loretta) finds itself in trouble when a handsome stranger, JR, (Camilla Griggs) attempts to seduce Rachel.

Review:

I can and will speak for and against L.A. I do live there. One thing I want to say is that I am tired of seeing Little Frida’s (coffee bar) in movies and television shows. It always looks different than it is, and I don’t happen to like hanging there. I may be the only one in L.A. though. (Update to my old review: apparently, I wasn’t the only one that hated it since that place is long gone). Anyway, I can’t think of a movie made by lesbians that makes us look worse. I know that the attempt was to make it into a funny movie and at times it does work.

The first half hour or so of this film is really hard to get through. At one point the characters talk about their ex-lovers through one of the silliest flash backs I have ever seen. They look straight into the camera and talk about an event as if they had actually seen it on screen. That’s a cinematic experiment that did not work. The rest of this movie, is basically played out in the bar. I remember having only the bar to go to for some sense of community, and this seems to be what is going on here. It’s okay, though, it is another aspect of gay life. That isn’t my beef. If we could laugh at the bar situations and with the women instead of at them, it might make it ok.

Bar life isn’t the only thing taken lightly in this flick. The way these women can nonchalantly say that they have fallen in love after one night is really comical. The women in this movie don’t take their relationships seriously. The main couple, Loretta (Nancy Allison Wolfe) and Rachel (Liza D’Agostino) meet and fall in love and move in faster than you can say u-haul. If these women were young, they would have an excuse; but they have been around the block a few times and should know better. Consequently, the romance doesn’t even have a chance to build believably. Their connection sees to be mainly lust. Not surprisingly, jealousy strikes when handsome stranger, JR, attempts to seduce Rachel. This triggers Loretta’s jealousy and a recurring jealousy joke that always ends with a punch, literally!. I can remember how a small lesbian community can sometimes be, very incestuous, but the way these women handle it seems rather juvenile. It is funny at times, but sad as well. I know jealousy is a very real issue, trust me on this one, but this movie doesn’t do it justice by not taking it seriously.

Among the swinging, punching, dykes at the bar, one couple struck a chord with me. Ex-straight, Tracy and butch girl Annie(not as much of a butch as the movie would have you believe) get together and create the sweetest relationship in the movie. I wish the film would have been about them. Unlike the other women, Annie actually has scruples about relationships. She chastises Loretta for an indiscretion. Meanwhile, Loretta can’t even see what she did wrong. Annie and Tracy seem to genuinely care for each other and aren’t involved in the whole drama scene of the bar. A movie fails when the supporting characters are more interesting than the leads.

By the end of this flick, I didn’t really care if Loretta and Rachel got back together because they both have a lot of problems and weren’t particularly likable. I didn’t see the chemistry. JR and Loretta had better screen heat than the two leads. Those two have a steamy scene that may be the best thing in the movie, except perhaps for Chasty Bono’s cameo.

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One Comment
  1. I am watching this now, having recorded it off TV a few days ago. It’s an awful movie (especially the acting) but I love it. I think I’m even nostalgic for watching it in the 90s and thinking it was bad then. I remembered the major points but forgot about the thing with the troll doll; that is funny.

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