Review of “An Unexpected Love”


In fact, one of the major disappointments of An Unexpected Love is that the romantic relationship between Kate and Mac is not really developed, to the point of feeling a little unbelievable as such a profound catalyst in Kate's life. Kate spends far more time talking about her relationship with Mac than actually being in it.

A lot of time is dedicated to the women's burgeoning friendship in the beginning of the film, but scenes of their romantic relationship consist of one montage of them having sex one night, and then we see no further development of their relationship until a two-minute segment at the very end which is supposed to take place six months later.

Having Kate come out to everyone she knows the day after she hooks up with Mac also feels contrived and unrealistic, more like something a college student would do then a mother in her mid-thirties who makes her decisions as carefully as Kate does. And the "homophobic ex-husband threatening to sue for custody" storyline is so 1996.

On the positive side, Rose is always very matter-of-fact in her treatment of the sexual aspect of lesbian relationships, which is nice to see on television. The acting if the movie is generally very good, and Mac's clothes are great (even if she does appear to wear the same outfit for most of the film).

There are also some thought-provoking lines thrown in that would have been interesting to explore, like Kate's wry comment "Isn't that one of the perks of being with a woman? You talk and talk and talk about everything until you go insane?" But since the line never goes anywhere, it almost would have been better to leave it out than to tease us with it.

It is interesting to see bisexuality explored on TV for a change (even if the word is never actually used), and Rose is one of the few writers who consistently tackles this issue. But again, the fact that there is no real resolution or even enough time to adequately explore the issue in the film just raises a lot of questions that get buried in the frenzy of storylines vying for the viewer's attention.

The problem with this film isn't that the ending is too neat — that's to be expected in a TV love story — but that the middle is too messy.

Both The Truth About Jane and A Girl Thing received their share of criticism as well as praise when they premiered (especially A Girl Thing), but at least the lesbian storylines in those two films had an steady, unhurried rhythm and some emotional continuity — unlike the frenetic pace and squandered potential of An Unexpected Love.

It is laudable that Rose continues to write and direct television movies about lesbian and bisexual women, but disappointing that her latest film doesn't quite live up to the expectations set by her previous ones. An Unexpected Love attempts to tell too many competing storylines that cannot possibly be adequately explored in such a limited time and just ends up leaving the viewer frustrated, confused, and ultimately unsatisfied.

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