Desert Hearts (1985)


Drama | Romance


Donna Deitch




Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley, Andra Akers, Gwen Welles, Dean Butler, James Staley, Katie La Bourdette, Alex McArthur, Tyler Tyhurst, Denise Crosby, Antony Ponzini


1950s. Unsatisfied with her marriage, and feeling out of place at the ranch she's staying, professor Vivian Bell (Helen Shaver) finds herself increasingly drawn to Cay Rivers (Patricia Charbonneau), the lesbian daughter of the ranch owner.


I've read quite a lot about this film but never had a chance to watch it. Or maybe I just didn't want to. However it is, I did watch it last night and it wasn't love at first sight. It's not like "Desert Hearts" is a bad film, actually it is a fine lesbian romance, but the thing is that the film is not that interesting.

The film tells the story of two different women who end up falling in love in Nevada in the 1950s. It is a simple story, but it is enhanced by the fact that it was probably the first lesbian film to have a plot beyond sex, to have characters that are more than stereotypes, characters that feel real, and most important both characters enjoy a satisfactory ending. So yeah, I do realise why it was such a big deal when it came out. 

However, the film is pretty dull. It is also quite slow which didn't bother me at all, but the fact that I wasn't able to care about the story nor the characters, and that I wasn't able to find a single, interesting scene in the whole film kept me from liking it.

Okay, maybe that isn't completely true, because the love scenes are good. They are yes, erotic but tender at the same time. They are beautifully choreographed and aren't more explicit than needed - which is quite the opposite of what happens in heterosexual films.

And I have to admit the leading duo, Helen Shaver and Patricia Charbonneau, does a really good job. They both deliver wonderful and believable performances, and their chemistry is just magical.

1 comment :

  1. Rknockenauer@gmail.com24 September 2016 at 05:45

    This film was a landmark film for the gay community now it is simply dated.