Inescapable

Writer-director-editor Helen Lesnick's softcore psychodrama is clearly positioned as an alternative to lesbian bed-death movies in which female couples are more interested in herbal tea than sex. San Diego-based architect Jesse (Natalie Anderson) accompanies her younger girlfriend, medical researcher Susan (Tanna Marie Frederick), to a professional seminar...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Writer-director-editor Helen Lesnick's softcore psychodrama is clearly positioned as an alternative to lesbian bed-death movies in which female couples are more interested in herbal tea than sex. San Diego-based architect Jesse (Natalie Anderson) accompanies her younger girlfriend, medical researcher Susan (Tanna Marie Frederick), to a professional seminar in the rainy Pacific Northwest. Susan's old Smith College roommate and one-time lover, Beth (Katie Alden), lives nearby and will also be attending, so she invites Susan and Jesse to stay with her and her new girlfriend, book editor Chloe (Athena Demos). Initially uncomfortable about being the oldest person in the group, Jesse quickly settles in and develops a crush on Chloe. Left alone in the house on a rainy day, they embark on a steamy affair. "This isn't going to end well," worries Jesse in a postcoital funk, but where in another kind of movie that would be the cue for her to start hatching a murderous plot with her amoral sweetie, here it just means that between hot sex scenes Jesse and Chloe feel really bad about cheating on their respective partners. The couples picnic, barbecue and go out to dinner; Beth, who seems to be picking up the cheating signals that are eluding Susan's relationship radar, nevertheless persuades Susan and Jesse to stay for the weekend so she can throw a big bash on Friday night. Will Jesse and Chloe be able to keep their affair under wraps, or is there an ugly confrontation in the offing? Efficiently photographed by Jessica Gallant, who also shot the lesbian-slasher movie MAKE A WISH (2003), Lesnick's film caters to an underexploited niche market: While many softcore films offer all-female scenes, they're designed to fire the libidos of straight men, not gay women. SoCal singer-songwriter Minga's synthesizer-heavy jazz-rock vocal stylings lend the proceedings a sleazy-cheesy vibe that's very smutty '70s, which may not have been the intent.

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