Okay, the following represents my best efforts to keep things PG, or at worst, PG-13. This is a family website, after all. Anyway, remember that summer when you first discovered the subtle (or maybe not so subtle, as the case may be) charms of the opposite sex? Yeah, that was an interesting summer. Your hormones were potent enough to power multiple New Yorks and even the so-so-looking girl next door suddenly became the fourth Charlie’s angel. And every time she passed, remember how you quietly fantasized about you and her being the last two people on earth? Or what would happen if the two of you were trapped in a very small space for hours and hours? Surely you remember that. Of course, those fantasies matured over the years, as you did, becoming more and more… ummm, shall we say X-rated. But hey, we fantasize because we are human, despite what old, hypocritical men of the “cloth” may tell you. The short film “Love Life” is a playfully creative and refreshingly honest account of one woman’s sexual fantasy after a fleeting glimpse of a stranger on the street. It just so happens that the stranger is another woman. Calm down guys, it’s not exactly what you think. You see, “Love Life” was written and directed by a woman, Nanci Gaglio, and is far from exploitive garbage like “American Pie 2” or “Old School”. (Not that exploitive garbage is necessarily a bad thing.)
Labeling the film a purely “sexual” fantasy, as well as focusing on its sexual orientation, does it a great disservice however. “Love Life” is really about those moments when we ask: what if? What if life didn’t suck? What if I was happier and smarter and more important in the world? What if all my desires could be quenched by profoundly passionate lovemaking beyond my wildest dreams? Or in the case of this particular woman: What if I wasn’t crippled? The film’s main character (Chaia Milstein), who remains nameless, is wheelchair-bound and sickly. Her existence is cold and gray and virtually devoid of life. Yet after locking eyes with a woman (Tina Walsch) for but a second, she indulges in a whirlwind daydream in which the world is warm and bright and teeming with life. Within minutes, she sees herself going to college, graduating, and then finding a good job. The fantasy culminates in an outrageously erotic encounter with the woman on the street. On a bed of red satin sheets, the two naked women copulate without ever having said a word.
“Love Life” was clearly conceived as a sort of modern silent film, replete with exaggerated soundtrack, slapstick comedy, and precipitous pacing. Nanci Gaglio’s use of these elements is both skillful and clever. The two main actresses, Milstein and Walsch, are to be commended for their fearless display of their not-exactly-Maxim-esque figures at the film’s climax (no pun intended). Yet while the film is essentially well made and sometimes quite funny, in the end it doesn’t amount to much more than simply… a dream. Call it ‘lesbian escapism’ if you will, it really doesn’t matter. It’s a fun ride, but then you wake up. All dreams are after all, only fleeting.
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