×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Go Fish

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. Theatrical prospects are excellent for an all-female picture that is sharply observed, visually audacious and full of surprising charms. A shrewd marketing campaign should broaden the appeal of enormously likable comedy beyond the gay and lesbian markets, particularly among young urban viewers.

With:
Ely ... V.S. Brodie Max ... Guinevere Turner Kia ... T. Wendy McMillan Evy ... Migdalia Melendez Daria ... Anastasia Sharp

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. Theatrical prospects are excellent for an all-female picture that is sharply observed, visually audacious and full of surprising charms. A shrewd marketing campaign should broaden the appeal of enormously likable comedy beyond the gay and lesbian markets, particularly among young urban viewers.

The most refreshing dimension of “Go Fish” is that it’s not dealing with coming out and it’s not burdened with the stiff, sanctimonious tone of such lesbian films as “Claire of the Moon.” Instead, the point of departure of scripters Troche and Turner is that women can — and do — live emotionally fulfilling lives in lesbian communities, without being stigmatized or penalized.

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) , an Hispanic 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.

The whole story builds up to an hilarious date between Ely and Max, with their friends insisting on getting all the dirty details — the before, during and after.

Small in scale, but full of truthful insights, “Go Fish” is charged with a fierce intelligence about how lesbians actually live.Troche’s lovely touches are especially evident in the way she shows the characters’ healthy sensuality. It’s to her credit that sex in the 1990s is treated in the most natural fashion, without condescending to any of their characters, including the perpetually horny Daria (Anastasia Sharp).

As director, Troche elicits perfectly natural performances from her mostly nonprofessional ensemble. As the central couple, Guinevere Turner and V.S. Brodie inhabit rather than play their roles by projecting an inner verve and verbal charm.

As editor, Troche brings snap to the storytelling, particularly in her letter-perfect intercutting of the women’s various glances — lusty, duplicitous , suspicious. She’s greatly assisted by Ann Rossetti’s stylized black-and-white cinematography.

In moments, “Go Fish” turns too cutesy for its own good — some one-liners are thrown in just because they’re funny. And the film’s last sequence, a montage of beautiful women making love, is unnecessarily long, and it turns the comedy into an agenda movie, which otherwise it is not.

These are minor complaints, however, for a film whose characters are so likable and sympathetic that it’s bound to win over viewers who might initially be suspicious of an all-out lesbian film. Highly entertaining and always light on its feet, “Go Fish” is unmistakably one of the Sundance Festival’s popular hits.

Go Fish

(Romantic comedy -- B&W)

Production: A Can I Watch Pictures production in association with KVPI. Produced by Rose Troche and Guinevere Turner. Executive producers, Tom Kalin and Christine Vachon. Directed, edited by Troche. Screenplay, Turner andTroche.

Crew: Camera (B&W), Ann T. Rossetti; music, Brendan Dolan, Jennifer Sharpe, Scott Aldrich; sound, Missy Cohen; associate producer, V.S. Brodie; assistant director, Wendy Quinn. Reviewed at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Jan. 22, 1994. Running time: 85 min.

With: Ely ... V.S. Brodie Max ... Guinevere Turner Kia ... T. Wendy McMillan Evy ... Migdalia Melendez Daria ... Anastasia Sharp

More Film

  • Wings Over Everest

    Terence Chang's 'Wings Over Everest' Set to Swell China's Rescue Film Genre

    “Wings over Everest,” a new action adventure film from veteran producer Terence Chang and “Wolf Warrior 2” producer Lu Jianmin, is poised to join the burgeoning Chinese sub-genre of rescue movies.   The Chinese- and English-language film stars Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu (“Project Gutenberg”; “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”), Japanese actor Koji Yakusho (“Babel”; “Memoirs of a [...]

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    China Film Marketing Firms Must Adapt To Internet Age, Says Huayi's Jerry Ye

    Huayi Brothers Pictures CEO and media group VP Jerry Ye made no mention Sunday of the abrupt cancellation of the premiere for his firm’s highly anticipated war epic “The Eight Hundred,” which was set to be the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival’s opening film the night before. Instead, he looked to the future at a panel [...]

  • The Meg

    Chinese Script Development Requires A Different Touch, Top Producers Say

    Leading film producers highlighted the challenges of developing good scripts in China and abroad at a panel during the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday. Wanda Media GM Jiang Wei (aka Wayne Jiang) recommended that producers remain aware of the real differences between the scriptwriting process for Chinese productions versus international and co-productions. The fundamental [...]

  • Lou Ye's "Spring Fever"

    Shanghai: Previously-Banned Producer Nai An Now Hails Chinese Film Funding

    At a panel on indie film production at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival, Chinese and foreign producers discussed the shifting funding landscape for their projects over the years. Nai An, the longtime collaborator of controversial sixth generation Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye, kicked off the talk with a look back at her producing career, which has [...]

  • My Dear Friend

    Shanghai Film Review: 'My Dear Friend'

    Like a slow-acting hallucinogen, Chinese director Yang Pingdao’s audaciously strange and sorrowful feature debut works its magic so gradually that it’s with a slight surprise that halfway through you glance down and realize you’re high off the social-realist ground, suspended surreally in the air. At first a gritty tale of feckless men abandoning their families [...]

  • Agent M (Tessa Thompson) and Agent

    Box Office: 'Men in Black: International' Ranks No. 1 Overseas With $74 Million

    Sony’s “Men in Black: International” is making good on its title, leading overseas box office charts with $74 million from 56 foreign territories. Combined with its disappointing $28 million start in North America, the latest chapter in the sci-fi action series debuted with $102.2 million globally. “Men in Black: International” sees “Thor: Ragnarok” co-stars Tessa [...]

  • Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and Agent

    'Men in Black: International' Leads Box Office With Muted $28 Million

    Hollywood seems to be coming down with a contagious case of franchise fatigue this summer, as “Men in Black: International” and “Shaft” become the latest sequels largely dismissed by moviegoers in North America. Sony’s “Men in Black: International” led ticket sales at the box office this weekend with $28.5 million, but still fell short of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content