Rounding out the strong indie dramas was The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, which featured title character Pippa (Gossip Girl‘s Blake Lively) running away from a toxic home life to join her lesbian aunt (Robin Weigert) and her lover Kit (Julianne Moore) in NYC.
Julianne Moore and Blake Lively in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
A bit less successful were the uneven Steam and Running on Empty Dreams. While both films had serious potential for meaty lesbian drama (and Steam had the allure of Ally Sheedy behind it), both became weighted down by clunky filmmaking. Worse, both featured dreaded “bad lesbian poetry” sequences — an element of queer films that would do well to quietly die off.
Chelsea Handler and Ally Sheedy in Steam
Laughing Out Loud
While 2007 and 2008 were flooded with “lighter” fare, 2009’s feature films tended towards the heavier side. Certainly, there was plenty to laugh about in documentaries like Lady Trojans and web-series-turned-feature Chica Busca Chica, but “traditional” comedies were few and far between.
This isn’t a bad thing, given the quality on offer. And then Came Lola was a hilarious romp starring Jill Bennett, Ashleigh Sumner and Cathy DeBuono that riffed on Run Lola Run, Groundhog Day, and just about every lesbian stereotype in the book. In our review, we called the flick “A sugar rush of a lesbian movie.”
Juliette Lewis and Ellen Page in Whip It
Hilarious and fast-paced with a touch of the Sapphic, the film was one of the most fun (and most girl-powered) mainstream movies of the year.