Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl (2016)

Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl
Director: A.D. Calvo
Writer: A.D. Calvo
Cast: Quinn ShephardErin WilhelmiSusan Kellermann
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2017

Adele (Erin Wilhelmi) moves in with her aunt Dora (Susan Kellermann). Dora is agoraphobic and abrasive, and Adele doesn’t really want to be in her creepy house, but needs the job and she does take care of Dora diligently. Her quiet and lonely existence is interrupted when she meets Beth (Quinn Shephard). Beth is everything Adele isn’t and Adele finds herself deeply drawn. And Beth, too, seems to take a shine to Adele. But her influence on Adele isn’t all innocent and Adele starts to take some dangerous turns.

Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl really didn’t work for me. It felt trite and the queerness felt like a gimmick. I just felt like it was a film I’d seen before – a few times – and didn’t particularly take to it the first time round either.

In many ways, Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl reminded me of Jennifer’s Body (which I didn’t love but at least liked), starting with the innocent blonde girl and the more or less corrupting brunette (a tired, lookist trope). But I don’t see where this film brings anything new or fresh to the table, instead it just feels pretty repetitive, less playing with a problematic subgenre than just executing it.

And I’m growing so tired of queer films where the relationship is somehow toxic. Please, let’s return to that particular trope once we have our fair share of happy wlw and other queer films (including happy endings) and our fair share of healthy queer relationships represented on screen. And only then. Especially when the wlw film is made by a man, which gives an additional exploitative touch here.

But even disregarding the queer angle, the film didn’t manage to convince me. It doesn’t really manage to build atmosphere or tension, and it felt much longer than it should have felt given that it’s less than 80 minutes long. It finally culminates into an ending that feels entirely derivative, even more so than the rest of the film.

Ultimately the film just fell short of pretty much every measure I held it to, except the acting, which was fine, and the color palette which was interestingly subdued. Other than, though, it didn’t manage to engage me.

Summarizing: I’d rather watch Jennifer’s Body again.

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