Reel Affirmations 2006
Love On the Side
Review by Will Doig
Rating: (3 out of 5)
Monday, 10/16/2006, 7:00 PM
Feature presentation, $9 at Landmark’s E Street Cinema
THE REASON PEOPLE like diner food is the same reason they’ll like this movie: It’s easy and unfussy, a bit bland, and it doesn’t require a lot of courage to consume. You’ve sat down to Deluxe Combo Platter many times before — a light, perfectly serviceable romantic comedy with a chuckle here and there. This is the lesbian film you take your grandmother to.
Eve, who works in her family’s diner, is a plain-Jane who never dreamt of girl-on-girl action until slick Linda arrives from the big city on business and teaches these bumpkins a thing or two about same-sex sass. Along the way, quarterback Jeff, Eve’s true crush, tears his pinup girls off the wall and learns what love is really all about. A wacky Asian waitress and her horny fiancé complete the formula. It’s a half-hour sitcom on Logo, stretched paper-thin across 102 minutes.
Marla Sokoloff (Dude, Where’s My Car) does just fine as the sensible, coming-of-age Eve. Monika Schnarre as Linda and Dave Thomas as the fiancé both pull off their roles just fine as well.
The only thing in the film that rises above ”just fine” is the unmistakable Jennifer Tilly, who rips the words from the script and practically lights them on fire — and as the trash-talking waitress, she gets the best lines. Eve, on the other hand, is left to work with dialogue like, ”I always knew I didn’t have everything you wanted, I just hoped I had everything that you needed,” which pretty much sums up how the filmmakers must feel about their audience. Still, if you like your eggs runny and your coffee watered down, if you’re looking for a simple and mildly uplifting fish-out-of-water story, there’s no reason Combo Platter shouldn’t suffice as your blue-plate special for the night. — WD