The Four-Faced Liar (Wolfe Releasing)
The best thing about The Four-Faced Liar is that the women (and men) look like "regular" people. No ultra-skinny models here; just a group of attractive folks who work quite well as an ensemble.
Jacob Chase, directing from a screenplay by Marja Lewis Ryan (who also stars as lesbian bon vivant Bridget), uses the eclectic cast to good advantage. Emily Peck, Todd Kubrak, Daniel Carlisle and Liz Osborn round out the players in this self-described "comedy about drama."
Amusing situations lead to dramatic scenarios that stumble and fall all over the place, seemingly without direction. The plot, while mildly intriguing, smacks of the familiar: lesbian and straight girl meet, lesbian lusts after straight girl, then straight girl falls for lesbian and myriad complications ensue.
The on-location New York City shots (especially in the bar called The Four-Face Liar) are terrific as a backdrop, but the movie’s action is driven forward by events that fail to make sense. The four main characters don’t seem to have jobs, but do have super-fabulous Manhattan apartments. They are students, but apparently stuck in remedial English Literature 101; quoting Wuthering Heights is the whole of their study. Not one character has a back story that entices the audience to invest in or empathize with any of them.
The angsty, strained scenes between lovers Molly and Greg reveal poignant pain, while the sensual scenes with Molly and Bridget are intimate and sexy. The chemistry between the two women is believable, but the Krazy Glue-like bond between longtime pals and housemates Bridget and her lesbro Trip transcends all other relationships.
Without giving too much away, the lesbian character doesn’t suffer the comically bad fate that befalls so many of her Hollywood counterparts—and she’s not played by a plastic robot. That’s reason to appreciate The Four Faced Liar’s realness. — Stephanie Schroeder
My Normal (Wolfe Releasing)
Natalie (Nicole Laliberte) is a nice girl who happens to be smokin’ hot. Her grandmother wants her to find a nice, Jewish boyfriend—but Natalie has her eye on the ladies and her hands on a whip. As one of New York City’s most sought-after dominatrices, Natalie likes what she does and isn’t ashamed. She and her friends casually compare notes from the job—tying hands, taping mouths and telling clients what to do—like it’s just another day at the office.
While she has big dreams of making movies, explaining what she does in the interim is a struggle. Natalie doesn’t feel abashed of her role as a sex worker–she feels empowered, and carries the movie with her ravishing looks and million-watt smile. Think Julia Roberts-meets-Lindsey Lohan.
This drama/slightly dark comedy is a colorful ensemble of Natalie’s flowing auburn locks, sequined gold club attire, shiny black stilettos and lots of red lipstick. Her white-washed, uber-chic Lower East Side apartment is only slightly believable—but hey, we hear doms do pretty well.