This movie seems perceived by most reviewers as being about lesbian love, but I found much more than that in the movie. Yes, for sure lesbian love is the major vehicle to bring out the self-deception of every character in the movie. However, I found it to be as much about self-deception and the hypocrisy that results from self-deception as about a lesbian love affair. Lauren is a lesbian, deeply in love with and devoted to Nicole in the small town Guthrie, Oklahoma. The movie opens with Lauren lying in a hospital bed with her dying lover Nicole. Lauren is so devoted to Nicole that she spends 4 months away from her work caring for Nicole during her dying days. She loses her job and is evicted from her apartment, and is forced to go back to her mother’s home. Her mother perfectly presents the small town hypocrisy of being nice people, but intolerant of anything, such as homosexuality, that is outside of their small minded and narrow world. Lauren’s hypocrisy is that she won’t admit to and allow herself to suffer the heartbroken grief that Nicole’s death caused. Her brother Justin and his girlfriend Carrie arrive from Napa, California. They are involved in establishing a local winery in Oklahoma. Carrie is from a well-established wine making family in the Napa Valley, and met Justin when he became an apprentice winemaker there. Justin is ambitious, his boyhood dream having been to bring winemaking to his home town of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Carrie is rather stand offish towards Lauren, in fact the whole scene in Guthrie including Lauren’s mother. However, she and Lauren warm to each other, and become emotionally closer as the movie progresses. Her hypocrisy is that indeed she does have latent lesbian desires which she tends to hide as empathy for Lauren due to her grief over Nicole’s death, and sympathy because of the dysfunctional relationship she has with her mother. She is also self deceiving in terms of her love for Justin. She and Justin act more like business partners than lovers, and Carrie prides herself in being the calm, cool, collected one, relying on reason and open communication. Justin is self deceiving toward both Lauren and Carrie. He supports Lauren’s lesbian lifestyle until it threatens his relationship with Carrie. Then he turns on Lauren, almost viciously. He is also self-deceiving about his feelings towards Carrie – they are indeed more as a business partner than a lover. They apparently have been together for some time, but he has never proposed to Carrie and is evasive about when that might happen. The mother is self-deceiving in that she somehow believes Lauren is “fixed” now that her “friend” died. All of this hypocrisy plays out as the movies progresses, and rather explodes into a very dramatic scene involving all of these characters near the end of the movie. I wont spoil the ending, except to say I did not find it very satisfying. I can’t give it five stars primarily because I thought some of the dialogue in the drama that played out near the end was rather strained and awkward. It’s as though they just needed to have everything come to a head, and had difficulty creating believable conversation around all of this drama. This was especially true of Carrie and Justin’s final conversation, and between Lauren and Kenny when Lauren went there because she couldn’t stand staying in her mother’s house any longer. The chemistry between Lauren and Carrie was very well developed by the actresses Velinda Godfrey and Laura Spencer. Their love scene was tasteful, believable, erotic, and very well done. There is a strong signal near the end of it that clearly signals Lauren’s refusal to allow herself to really feel love again when she pushes Carrie’s hand away. That is also a signal that Carrie was feeling more than sympathy for Lauren and wanted to give her the same pleasure she had just received. Godfrey was brilliant all the way through, except for that very clumsy scene where she goes to Kenny at the end.
Even though I thought the script after the love scene could have been done better, I still think it is well worth watching and I do recommend it.