‘The Feels’ is an Authentic Snapshot of Modern Lesbian Romance

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The best part of a subscription service is gaining access to an eclectic assortment of lesbian films. As someone who grew up with four television channels, covertly searching for lesbian content, having all of these options never ceases to delight me. So let’s take a minute to appreciate one of Netflix’s underrated gems: The Feels.

 

The Feels follows a bachelorette weekend for Andi and Lu, who are very much in love. They run together, laugh together, and have hot sex together. And now Andi and Lu are about to hyphenate their names and make things official. They invite their nearest and dearest to a fancy rental house by a forest for a weekend of celebrations.

The cabin hosts an awkward mix of friendship groups and more than a little dyke drama. Moments of social tension are so convincing that they’re almost unbearable. Director Jenée LaMarque nails the pressures of prolonged social interaction. But there is a light-hearted sweetness to The Feels that makes it thoroughly watchable. And the acting is stellar.

Constance Wu recently came under fire for wanting to move on from Fresh Off the Boat’s tiger mom, Jessica Huang. Watching her performance in The Feels, it’s easy to see why Wu craves roles that push her further than the sitcom. She is captivating as Andi – sharp, playful, and sultry by turns.

Yet Andi’s intensity is a faultline within the relationship. She is quick to criticize Lu’s flakey sister Nikki, and doesn’t hesitate to steal Lu’s punchlines. It is Andi’s friends who make up the majority of the group. There are moments when Lu is lost among them, texting messages of silent appeal to Nikki. As tension builds over dinner and drug-fuelled partying, Lu lets something slip. She has never had an orgasm. Not even with Andi.

As Andi and Lu try to work out if their relationship can survive this speedbump, each guest reflects on the state of their own love life. The plot is punctuated by documentary style interviews about each woman’s experiences of sex. While there are points when cutting to these interviews disrupts the flow of the film, these monologues offer valuable insight into each character and their motives. Plus, there is a novelty factor that makes these frank and shame-free discussions of female sexuality work.

With its upbeat soundtrack, Instagram-worthy shots of introspective car journeys, and texts appearing on screen as painted messages, The Feels is an enjoyable cinematic experience. It’s slick without feeling overly polished. The brittle moments and brash jokes offer an authentic snapshot of modern lesbian life.