Finally....a comedy without MEN! That is what the tag line on the poster for BAR GIRLS reads and it's true. There is only one man in the entire cast and I am not sure what his damage is. All lesbians and lovers of gay cinema know that there is a massive shortage of lesbian films. And an even smaller amount of good lesbian films.
Forget PERSONAL BEST. Forget CLAIRE OF THE MOON. Forget GO FISH. There truly is only one film for the ladies that gives it its all. That film is BAR GIRLS.
From the moment the opening credits start, you know you are in trouble and once you have seen it more than a dozen times, you will recognize that the choir of women singing the opening song is made up of the cast of lovely ladies! A good way to save some money! Unfortunately, the theme song is not "BAR GIRLS, BAR GIRLS WHAT CHA GONNA DO..." which is what i sing while watching this film.
BAR GIRLS has so many problems to rejoice, that i honestly don't even know where to begin...in a nutshell the director and screenwriter blew it big time. The script is based off a stage play (god knows where it played) and is written by the playwright herself. Lauran Hoffman is not able to capture the essence of her characters on the big screen and I hope that she was able to do it on the stage, but I honestly don't see how. I mean, come on...if you are going to make a small indy lesbian film that really tries to capture the feel of Los Angeles gals, then what better time in cinema than 1994 could there be? Honey, this was your only chance....You better bring your A game.
A lot of the problem falls on the shoulders of the lead actor Nancy Allison Wolfe, in her ONLY acting credit. I am not sure if she was the star of the stage play and the jump from stage to screen just didn't fit, but she has got to be one of the most unlikeable and annoying characters in a movie ever. Just about every line she delivers fall flat and comes out like she just read over the script, but cranked to level 10 on the emotions chart. It feels like she has been sitting off camera, thinking about the most horrible things to pull up some emotions and then ends up like a deer caught in headlights when the camera starts rolling. With her "New York sense of humor" she is suppose to be our center in the crazy world of lesbian girl bars in the early 90's. She does have a good trying on outfits montage and she is suppose to be kinda a sexy sex bomb of a gal. But she flirts with girls and then delivers lines like, "It takes me a while to warm up to someone sexually." Oh Jesus.
Then she breaks the fourth wall and talks into the camera. I'm like, "Is this bitch talking to me?"
And then enters Fake Rae Dawn Chong. I can't even remember what her name is in the movie, because I just call her Fake Rae Dawn Chong. I try to imagine that it is the real RDC playing herself. Like when someone ask her what she has been up too, she says, "Oh, I just had a three episode story arch on Melrose Place." She is sorta love able in a muppet-esque kinda way. She and Nancy Allison Wolfe start flirting with each other, but Nancy Allison Wolfe is in a relationship and Fake Rae Dawn Chong is married to a man, which she tries to explain and I swear doesn't make any sense. After a sexy car chase and a dance routine lit by headlights ala TO DIE FOR trailer with Nicole dancing to "Dirty Laundry", the two gals turn to the audience and watch the movie with us.
I MUST SAY THIS at this point: It is a well documented fact from eye witnesses that this is usually the moment that broke the original audience in the theatres. People left in droves! Demanding their money back and hating themselves for sitting through it. Okay, back to the movie!
There is lots of Drama as all the girls at the bar bed hop and switch partners. None of the ever fuck, they just make love. "The best part of your skin, is that it covers your whole body!" Whenever Nancy Allison Wolfe says this to Fake Rae Dawn Chong, it fully expect her to push her in a homemade well and fatten her up to make a skin dress. A girl cop enters the picture to ruin their relationship and in one of my favorite moments in the entire movie, Nancy Allison Wolfe tells everyone why she hates cops. It ends up sounding like one of those assault reports that a gay gives to the SGN. Lots of details left out. Things that make you go HMMM.....
Toss in my favorite character Annie from Bakersfield "Now she's the aggressor" and a Cartoon! Yes, folks, there is a cartoon. A superhero called Heavy Myrtle, who flys around the city talking about her period. Something they don't show in the trailer! And it isn't even good animation. Like worst than RETURN OF JAFAR shit. And it is suppose to air on a cable channel. THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM.....
BAR GIRLS is not for the faint at heart or for the weak spirit. It is a dark sided journey into contemporary gay cinema that takes a lot from you without giving anything back. It seemed as though BAR GIRLS had a curse. I will call it the BAR GIRLS CURSE. It basically ruined everyone involved. The director and screenwriter went on to do nothing and Nancy Allison Wolfe has disappeared. I hope she is doing well, because she really did go for it in this film and all her dreams of being the voice of the lesbian community got left at the Girl Bar. The only one to remain untouched by the BAR GIRLS CURSE would be CeCe Tsou, who plays Sandy. Now, Sandy is awesome. She steals the movie from everyone with less than 30 lines and she nails the best jokes, all physical too, nothing from the actual script is funny. Just recently, I yelped with joy while watching SPEED again. There was Sandy in the opening sequence trapped in an elevator while Keanu tried to rescue them and you know what...SHE NAILED IT. She recently landed a job on my dad's favorite daytime soaps THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. You GIT IT GIRL!
BAR GIRLS remains one of my all time favorite movies and I can re watch it at any given moment. Even though awfulness hangs on it like a runny nose and it seems to be one of the most charmless films I have ever witnessed, I could watch Fake Rae Dawn Chong read the phone book for an hour and a half.
Hats off to BAR GIRLS. I love you.