Rose Troche makes an auspicious debut as director, co-writer and editor of Go Fish, a fresh, hip comedy about contemporary lifestyles within the lesbian community. The most refreshing dimension of Go Fish is that it’s not dealing with coming out and is not burdened with the stiff, sanctimonious tone of such lesbian films as Claire of the Moon.
The comedy is off to a good start when Kia (T. Wendy McMillan), a mature black professor, is speculating with her students about who might be lesbian in American society. Kia, who is romantically involved with Evy (Migdalia Melendez), a divorcee, would like Max (Guinevere Turner), her younger, energetic roommate, to meet a girl. She decides to set her up with Ely (V.S. Brodie), an ex-student of hers who’s in the process of terminating a long-distance relationship.
Through cross-cutting between the Max and Ely households, the well-written comedy conveys the folklore that women share when there are no men around – sort of a current, lesbian version of Gregory La Cava’s Stage Door.
As director, Troche elicits perfectly natural performances from her mostly non-professional ensemble. The performers’ mixture of strong physical presence and light self-mockery helps set the film’s quirky, offbeat mood. As the central couple, Turner and Brodie inhabit rather than play their roles by projecting an inner verve and verbal charm.