As February 14th rolls around every year, many a lesbian’s thoughts turn to love — or, at the very least, lust. Fortunately for us, lesbian cinema is a veritable gold mine of dating tips. Though some lesbian films leave a lot to be desired (don’t ever offer to watch Bar Girls with your date), a good number surprisingly offer some handy tips on the art of seduction. We’ve boiled them down for you in this even handier list. Take a look and see what you can use this Valentine’s Day.
Rule # 1 Go for the gold.
Brian De Palma’s silly but sexy heist flick, Femme Fatale (2002), follows the exploits of bisexual jewel thief Laure, played by model-turned-actress Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, Ugly Betty). De Palma doesn’t waste any time getting down to the business: The film opens with an over-the-top heist involving a splashy film premiere in Paris and a vampy, brunette starlet wearing a serpent-shaped gold halter top containing 500 diamonds worth more than $10 million.
Laure — undercover as a sleek, androgynous paparazzo — engages her target in a sultry stare down and later whispers an invitation to a rendezvous. Soon after, the 10-million-dollar woman strands her entourage of bodyguards in the hallway as she ducks into a bathroom marked “Femmes,” where Laure is waiting for her. Plastered together against the wall of a remarkably clean stall, Laure hungrily kisses the starlet and makes quick work of helping her shed her priceless “skin.” Diamonds — and ultimately drawers — hit the cold tile floor as Laure deftly devours her, while Laure’s partner in crime, hidden in the next stall, snatches the jewels and replaces them with designer imposter duds.
Romijn is gorgeous as usual, and De Palma (Black Dahlia, The Untouchables) shoots the scene with his standard voyeuristic menace. We all know that no one wears a blue paint body suit like Rebecca Romijn, but her powers of seduction in Femme Fatale are far more impressive than any shape shifting Mystique could ever pull off.
Rule # 2 Know your vocabulary.
In the clever, wordy style of some of Woody Allen’s best films, Kissing Jessica Stein (2001) tells the tale of heretofore heterosexual copy editor Jessica Stein (Jennifer Westfield), who is so impressed by the Rilke quote in a personal ad that she answers it — despite the fact that the ad is placed in the “women seeking women” section. When she meets the woman, Helen (Heather Juergensen), for their initial date, Jessica almost chickens out, but Helen convinces her to stay for a drink. Her technique? An unexpected and adroit use of the word “marinate.”
The compulsively chatty Jessica is captivated and ultimately challenged by Helen’s command of language. At the end of their talky date, Helen objects to Jessica’s claim that she is so knowledgeable about herself that she knows how she’ll react to everything. Helen sees that as an invitation to plant a long, passionate and confusion-inducing kiss on Jessica Stein, who is rendered speechless — possibly for the first time in years.
The seductive power of Helen’s sparkling conversation is evidence that the way to a woman’s heart is through her brain. As author Maria Mannes once said, “All really great lovers are articulate, and verbal seduction is the surest road to actual seduction.”
Rule # 3 Be willing to break the rules.
I’ve always suspected that lesbians have their own version of the bad girl fetish (naughty bi-curious married women, anyone?), but in Angela Robinson’s campy teen spy flick, D.E.B.S. (2004), the bad girl in question isn’t just naughty. She’s really bad — wanted-by-the-FBI bad. She’s Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster), and she’s the deadliest criminal in the world. Hot on her trail are the D.E.B.S., a super-secret crime fighting team armed to the teeth and decked out in skimpy schoolgirl uniforms.
While in hot pursuit of Diamond, moody D.E.B.S. agent Amy (Sara Foster) literally runs into her in classic romantic comedy meet-cute fashion. Amy is charmed by the flirty Diamond, and Diamond is equally smitten by the straight-arrow girl she should be shooting instead of seducing.
If you’re not a lesbian supervillain, your normal romantic ploys might include flowers, wine or song (see Loving Annabelle). But Lucy’s technique is direct and, well, illegal. She invades the D.E.B.S. fortress and kidnaps Amy for a date (“I’m breaking like eight federal statutes being here with you right now,” says Amy) that almost ends in a kiss. When Lucy kidnaps Amy a second time, she not only gets her kiss but also gets Amy to question her path as a professional goody-two-shoes. Nothing like a well-executed felony or two (see Bound) to get the girl of your dreams.