Metro Weekly

Loving Annabelle

Reel Affirmations 2006

Review by Kristina Campbell

Rating: starstarstar (3 out of 5)

Friday, 10/13/2006, 7:00 PM
Feature presentation, $9 at Lincoln Theatre

IT SEEMS FITTING that the Reel Affirmations showing of Loving Annabelle is sponsored by Tylenol PM. The subject matter — a senior at a Catholic girls’ high school having a liaison with her sexually conflicted poetry teacher — is tired in a ”ripped from the headlines” way and headache-inducing in NAMBLA-for-chicks fashion.

The pace of the film, however, is so slow that sleep aids are not necessary.

There are redeeming qualities to this film, which is written and directed by Katherine Brooks, whose credits include reality TV shows The Simple Life, The Osbournes and several seasons of The Real World. The acting is strong and the roles are well developed, from the two main characters to the supporting parts that paint a vivid picture (and stir up memories for some of us) of what it’s like to be an adolescent female. Annabelle (Erin Kelly) is an unabashed lesbian who quickly makes clear her feelings for Simone (Diane Gaidry), a poetry teacher in a heterosexual relationship but with a complicated past.

The storyline would be slightly more palatable if Annabelle could be an 18-year-old senior, but her age is either not disclosed or done so in passing. She appears to be a minor, though, which clutters the film’s final moments with legal issues at the expense of attention to the suitably challenging ethical ones. A shame, given the presence of some clever scenes and nice visuals.

Also playing: the short Such Great Joy ( ), a gently amusing, but klutzily-made comedy-of-errors set in a Jewish household, in which a lesbian tries to come out to her family (who thinks she’s engaged to a nice Jewish boy). We’ve seen this story before — told much better. — Kristina Campbell

Loving Annabelle