Recap Attack: “Go Fish”

Years before they contributed their talents to a little TV show called The L Word, writer-actress Guinevere Turner and writer-director Rose Troche gave us Go Fish, a no-budget, black and white, girl-meets-girl film about a group of young lesbian friends looking for love in Los Angeles — I mean Chicago.

There's a slightly older black woman who is the group's level-headed maternal figure. There's a girl who unapologetically sleeps with anyone and everyone she pleases. There's a girl named Max. Everyone hangs around talking about dating, love and sex so much, it feels like no one has a job. Why does this all sound strangely familiar?

Let's meet the girls:

Max — Her real name is Camille, but everyone calls her Max, as in “to the max.” Heh. As Max, Guinevere Turner looks a far cry from the L Word role she would play 10 years later: Alice 's hot-yet-cold ex, Gabby Deveaux.

Kia — A college professor and the older, maternal one in the group, played by big and sturdy T. Wendy McMillan. Kia and Max are roommates.

Ely — Shy and nervous, tall and gangly and not especially attractive, she could be the unlikely object of Max's fascination. Played generously by V.S. Brodie.

Daria — A much shorter, much plumper version of Shane, played by Anastasia Sharp. Daria is very much like the Lollipop Kid with the most hits on The Chart in all of Oz.

Evy — Kia's girlfriend, who hast yet to come out to her mother, played by Migdalia Melendez.

Herstory — “Let's make a list of women that you think are lesbians or that you know are lesbians,” instructs Kia. She's holding a casual discussion group in what I guess is a women's studies course. Wait. You can get college credits for playing a game we've all played over beer at least once? Damn.

Someone calls out, “Eve.” Someone else suggests, “Sappho.” The list grows until it includes everyone from Chelsea Clinton to the entire cast of Roseanne. Kia, with her coke bottle glasses and professorly authority, writes them all on the chalkboard until finally a student asks, “Why are we even making this list?”

Kia explains, “Throughout lesbian history, there has been a serious lack of evidence to tell us what these women's lives are truly about.” Are we setting up the film, or talking about Jodie Foster?

Anyway — Now we have Max reciting a long voice-over about how she imagines she'll meet the love of her life, while simultaneously, we're treated to a montage of an average morning's events.

Max says, “I have this great theory that the moment we're supposed to meet will be thwarted …” Daria swaggers home from yet another night of fun and meaningless sex.

“… I think I saw her on the subway yesterday. I saw her and thought, ‘We were supposed to meet yesterday on the bus …'” Kia and Evy are peacefully sleeping and spooning in Kia's bed.

“… She was supposed to spill her soda on me, and we were supposed to laugh and make a game of cleaning it up while we touch each other more than necessary …” Max is in her jammies in her bedroom, writing in her journal during her own voice-over.

“… Now our paths won't cross until years later when she's forgotten she's a dyke …” Ely gets up, yawns and shuffles into the kitchen to have her morning tea.

“… Fall in love with me. We were supposed to meet so long ago. We're way behind.” There's a spinning wooden top and then two hands with intertwined fingers held up to a happy-clouded sky. Oh no. Pretentious, arty images. This does not bode well.

Musing and dreaming give way to daylight — Kia and Evy are late for work, so they get dressed without showering or brushing their teeth. Ew. Kia and roommate Max make plans to meet later at a joint called the Fanta Café while Evy, wearing hospital scrubs, calls her mom and lies about working a double shift, instead of admitting she spent the night spooning with another woman.

Cut to the first of many silly interstitials. We see some shoes, pages of a book turning, a pair of eyes, and some milk being added to coffee. It's all very deep, and I'm not sure I get it. From here on out, I'll be inserting my own interstitials. They won't make any more sense than shoes, eyes and milk, but they might be more fun.

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