MovieChat Forums > Carol (2015) Discussion > For those unsatisfied with CAROL, here a...

For those unsatisfied with CAROL, here are some films you may like more


I enjoyed CAROL, but like quite a few others on this board, I found it to be a little bit underwhelming at times. It is such a pleasant and beautiful movie, but lacked the type of passion that I was expecting from it. That said, CAROL is one of my favorites of the lesbian romance film genre---and one of my top 5 favorite movies in general. It's just that apart from my number one favorite film, no single movie satisfies me completely, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that regard. So, on that note – please keep reading…

My full list of romantic lesbian movie favorites goes a little something like this (Order may vary depending on my mood):

1.Losing Chase (1996)
2.Habitación en Roma (2010)
3.Carol (2015)
4.Notes on a Scandal (2006)
5.Lianna (1983)

Other than CAROL though, I rarely ever notice these films mentioned in lists of best lesbian films. But I think they are the best and for those of you who haven't seen them, you're missing out. Be sure to check out each of these films – and you will be pleasantly surprised.

This leads me to the question of why was Carol so successful? Because although I love Carol very much, it is not the most passionate or most heartfelt of lesbian films. I would give that honor to the first two films in my list (although Carol is the most stylishly well-made – with the best films score and soundtrack).

I know it's possible that some of you will comment saying that the films on my list are nowhere near as romantic or passionate as CAROL. And that's fine. Because it just lets me know how different everyone is in their expectations of love and romance, and what arouses one person leaves another unmoved.

Anyway, the thing I find most intriguing in thinking about my favorite lesbian romance films, is why certain things turn me on more than others. For example, the simple kiss scene in LOSING CHASE (1997) is way more arousing to me than the full on love scene in CAROL. Yet, I really couldn't tell you why, except to say that Helen Mirren is a fabulous kisser, ha ha! Or, perhaps it's mostly to do with the dialogue and context. For example, ROOM IN ROME (2010) is full of nudity and love scenes, but it also contained dialogue that is among the most romantic and jovial of all films. And that makes a big difference too!

Also, for me, I have to believe the two main players as a couple. And for them to be attractive to me, there has to be a balance of yen and yang energies. I think that in same-sex relationships, they work in the same principle as straight relationships, except that rather than there being two sexes, there's two energies of yen and yang.

In the four movies that I listed along with CAROL, the yen and yang energies are present. Whether it be in the style of the characters, or in their respective places in life, you will see from those four movies that one of the characters is definitely the more passive feminine one, while the other is the more active, tomboyish one. Or sometimes, the yen-yang energy takes the form of playfulness versus classiness, young versus old… You see what I mean? This is why a movie like IMAGINE ME AND YOU (2005) was much less arousing and romantic to me than the movies listed here in this post – because in that film, the women were similar ages, similar hairstyles, similar heights, similar looks,… There really was no yen-yang energies between them. And without that, I find a distinct lack of tension and by extension, a lack of romance. Anyone else feel this way?

What do you all think? What is your biggest turn on in a lesbian romance film?

And, those of you who haven't seen the other films I listed here, please do, cause I definitely recommend them, and to those of you who have seen all or some of the movies on my list, I'd love to know your thoughts on them!


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[deleted]

It has excellent actresses/actor (Helen Mirren, Kyra Sedgwick, Beau Bridges) but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone interested in a lesbian love story.

If you're interested in a lesbian rejection story then by all means spend the $1.56 for it.

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I wouldn't call it rejection, I would call it a case of two love's. The love Sedgwick's character had for Mirren's character was different than the love Mirren's character had for Sedgwick's character, so they had to each fly their separate ways, like the kites they held onto in the film. But even in doing so, they adored each other, couldn't you tell?

The people on this board seem to love subtlety and slow burning passion or at least the idea of it. But the gentle adoration expressed in this movie seems to have been lost on you, if you refer to it as a "rejection story". That's not what it was. Especially not if you consider Helen Mirren's final line in the film SPOILER ALERT: "It was one hell of a storm! Will there be others? Perhaps. There usually are!" And if you remember how the film started, and her narration at the beginning of the story, you will realize this is a wink wink nudge nudge to the audience that this not only refers to the possibility of other nervous breakdowns, but to the possibility of other love relationships as-well.

Also worth noting is the fact that she did not go back to her husband. Thus, this was not a case of a woman having a midlife crisis and then coming out of it "straight again". This was the case of a woman wrestling with the storm that was herself and coming out on the other side with the revelation of who she *really* was, i.e. a lesbian. And I find that very self affirming and a positive message to anyone struggling with such an identity.

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I first saw this movie online (it was just added to YouTube), but now that I like it so much, I am planning on getting the dvd too! Yes, that's a nice price on Amazon 😃

P.S.

I saw the reply another user gave you about this, dismissing LOSING CHASE as nothing but a "rejection story". But, like many claim in the case of CAROL, I think that user missed the true points of the film. You may read my reply to that user, here:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2402927/board/nest/263703451?d=263782131#263782131

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Hi Rubymar1.

Just wondering, did you order LOSING CHASE? If you did and you do watch it, please share your thoughts here! Not enough people know about that movie, and it's my number one favorite film – so I would love to talk about it! :-)


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[deleted]

If it ever becomes available on DVD or streaming, I'll probably watch it because I like Helen Mirren and because you give it such a high rating.
Thanks for the reply! And it just so happens, you're in luck!

It's available to stream on YouTube. I posted the link to it as well as a link to a tribute video that someone made, in case anyone would rather watch that before getting into the full film. Both are here:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2402927/board/nest/263870583

If you do watch it sometime, be sure to come back and share your thoughts. And, happy viewing! 😃

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MyMovieTVRomance,

you were wondering in another thread why nobody (at this time) had responded to your initial post here in this thread. Those are the parts why I was reluctant to respond (bolded words by me):

Anyway, the thing I find most intriguing in thinking about my favorite lesbian romance films, is why certain things turn me on more than others. For example, the simple kiss scene in LOSING CHASE (1997) is way more arousing to me than the full on love scene in CAROL. [...] Also, for me, I have to believe the two main players as a couple. And for them to be attractive to me, there has to be a balance of yen and yang energies. [...] This is why a movie like IMAGINE ME AND YOU (2005) was much less arousing and romantic to me than the movies listed here in this post – because in that film, the women were similar ages, similar hairstyles, similar heights, similar looks. There really was no yen-yang energies between them. [...] What is your biggest turn on in a lesbian romance film?
This is an honest question: If that's what you want from a lesbian romance film - to get turned on by women you're attracted to -, why don't you just watch good lesbian porn? 

It's really baffling to me why you would sit through all the complex dialogue, artistic scenery and story telling of characters impersonating real life situations from a decade you're (probably?) not even born - like in Carol (2015) -, when all you want is to fap off? I use this more drastic expression because that's what I got from your post in general by reading it the first time. That's so far from the reasons I like to watch these particular movies about lesbian couples in love. In fact, to get turned on wouldn't be a reason for me to go to any movie I want to see for it's artistic or entertainment value. Which is why your whole post left me kind of speechless in it's general direction and I didn't want to reply.

This may sound stupid and trivial to you, but there are so many other reasons why I and other people watch movies in general: To get entertained by funny scenes and quirky characters, to get lost for an amount of time from your everyday life, to relax from a hard day at work, to learn about other people and cultures, experienced and shown by those people who made the particular film you're watching, to feel happiness and sadness with characters you'll learn to love, hate or just feel close to from your own life's experiences, or just to experience different life scenarios through those fictional characters you'll never have the chance to do in your own, real life. Movies are make belief after all, like any art form, and we all have our own motivation to get into them and access them differently.

Which means, of course, to get turned on by any movie or those particular lesbian romance movies would also be a legitimate reason to watch them. However, thinking that any serious movie/tv directrice/director, writer and/or actress/actor would go through all the shenanigans of making a movie/tv show just to turn you or their audience on feels just plain dumb and offensive to me. There's a whole industry who does the job much better and is specialized in that kind of entertainment, and it's making me really sad and angry that lesbian movies are often reduced to this kind of outcome by a certain group of people when it comes to their viewers and their motives to watch them.

And, in my opinion, it's completely unfair to all those people in the lesbian community and to those who are interested in their stories to reduce and rate those movies merely in terms of (personal) attractiveness and sexual arousement from your side. The variety of themes in lesbian movies in general has become so huge over the last 20 years, from the coming out films that are often also coming of age stories, to movies about same-sex marriages, about difficulties raising or adopting kids, about conflicts within families or relationships when partners suddenly die or get ill, about religious or patriarchal conflicts regarding lesbian couples, and so many more I could add here. In all those different stories you'll probably find parts that are quite romantic, meaning that you - as a viewer - can feel the happiness and joy of 2 women that are in love with each other on screen while watching them go through their (fictional) life.

In short, most of your post and especially your question What is your biggest turn on in a lesbian romance film? sound completely stupid and offensive in my ears, because it reduces the effort and outcome of telling lesbian stories to a mere oblivious sexual satisfaction on your side as a viewer. What draws me, personally, into lesbian (romantic) films is the concept of what it means to be a lesbian in our and past times; the changes and hardships it took during those times of liberating the lives of women and their desire to live out their own sexual orientation and love to a woman, and experiencing on screen what makes them happy loving someone else of the same sex. That's actually not far from what I expect from romantic films in general, but the differences of how directors, writers and film crews in general approach those lesbian stories is special because it reflects in certain ways the difficulties of this community to tell their own stories.

Well, all that written, it's obvious to me that our motivation to watch lesbian romance movies is very different - to say the least. So it shouldn't surprise you that I think your Top 5 of those movies is imperfect and doesn't reflect at all my own favourites. Carol (2015) is by far the best and most interesting one of those 5 movies for many reasons in my opinion (I rated it 7 here on IMDb, still tending to rate it up to 8 in the future), no matter that I expected a bit more and was underwhelmed, especially by the script and the development of the characters (I'll come back to this matter later ...).

I watched all the other 4 movies a long time ago and (unfortunately) forgot most of the details already. While I rated the three others with 6, Losing Chase (1996) got "only" a 5 for reasons I couldn't really tell you after such a long time. So, I watched it again yesterday evening, and I reassured myself that it isn't a very good movie, and not a lesbian romance movie by all means. I agree with you that Helen Mirren's character Chase Phillips changes during the course of the summer, that she becomes aware of her attraction to women in general, and that she's a lesbian, living an unsatisfied life, trapped in a marriage with a man that causes many of her psychological problems.

However, for me, one single character alone doesn't make it a lesbian romance, and there's the main problem: In my opinion, the movie makes very clear that Kyra Sedgwick's character Elizabeth Cole isn't attracted to women at all, for reasons the director doesn't really get into at the end when their friendship crumbles. The kiss scene at the beach (that you find arousing, probably because "Helen Mirren is a fabulous kisser") is obviously non-consensual and one-sided, given that the camera pans on Elizabeth after it and her expression of sheer surprise and non-involvement. Chase drops this kiss on Elizabeth out of nowhere, she didn't see it coming, which means, from her side, it's definitely not a romantic relationship, which kind of disqualifies this movie as a romantic lesbian movie in my book.

I concur with lglg-74253 that this movie is a "lesbian rejection story", and it's the kind of story in which a lesbian falls for the straight girl/woman that causes problems in their relationship. It doesn't make it a bad movie per se, but it's far from what a film like Carol (2015) wants to achieve by showing a fully developed lesbian romance en detail as a genuine lesbian romance movie. If you want to watch the difference, take a look at another older movie called A Village Affair (1995), which has some similar themes of rejection as shown in Losing Chase (1996) - but this relationship is actually between a woman who comes to terms with her being a lesbian and a real lesbian (you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32QKDv2l1ww - side note: Sophie Ward, the actress who played the main character in this one, came to terms with her own sexual orientation during and after this movie was done, later left her marriage with a man and lives with a woman for 2 decades now; more about this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ni_OYPNsVZ0).

Written all that about Losing Chase (1996) regarding the (lesbian) content, I have to say that this movie is partly terribly acted, especially by both of the kids and by Helen Mirren at the beginning. I hated the melodramatic music throughout the movie, which is kind of typical for movies that are associated with the Hallmark Channel - I can't stand it in general. Also, I'm bothered with how the movie ends, because we don't really know what happens with Elizabeth's sister and her whole issue of thinking about becoming mentally ill because of inheritance by her mother. It placates, it doesn't really show, and I think all those are reasons why this (tv!) movie is not very well known, not much appreciated or embraced by the lesbian community in general, and not often mentioned in lists of favourite lesbian romance movies by anyone. I think that's understandable; I honestly wouldn't recommend to watch this movie.

That's that. Now only a few comments on things I would like to address or add in short from your post:
I enjoyed CAROL, but like quite a few others on this board, I found it to be a little bit underwhelming at times. It is such a pleasant and beautiful movie, but lacked the type of passion that I was expecting from it.
I have a different understanding about the type and general direction of the criticism here on this board. All the trolls and homophobes aside, I think that most people love this movie very much for it's visual re-enactment of a lesbian love-story in the 1950's, but that it lacks certain story and character development that made the book more fascinating, raw, and even more controverse. For some part of the audience, it seems to be a (minor) problem with the script and how the romance develops, not the movie in general.

For examples, IrisJ123 wrote that it was a beautiful film but that she/he "never bought that these two [Carol and Therese] were so into each other" and that Therese "especially needed some fleshing out." pedromvu wrote that she/he liked the movie but that she "kept hoping for a glance of why they fell in love with each other" and that she/he was "let down on how they never seem to connect in a meaningful way through conversation". Jelena555 wrote that the "characters were pretty flat and even cold" and that she/he "couldn't believe in their connection" and "couldn't be excited for them to get back together", despite liking the "cinematography, how the 50s were portrayed, the attention to details, etc." I could go on with those examples, they all seem to point into the direction that the romance was suppressed due to a lack of character and relationship development by the writer/director.

I still haven't found the time to read the book, but I agree with many of these posters here on the board: It seems that the movie boiled down of what happened between the characters in the book, for reasons I'm not sure of. I would've liked more complex characters and more conflict in their relationship, which would've kind of explained their mutual connection and why they're so drawn to each other. The explanation that is given by other posters here on this board, that those are the '50s and that lesbian relationships had to be this way in this past time, doesn't really convince me when it comes to their private scenes. I think what Kimberlaina wrote here is what irks me about the realisation of this movie the most:
I guess I get the "attraction" part, and that is portrayed well, but it seems like in any relationship, regardless of gender, there needs to be some kind of common ground in order to build a future with that person. I am reading the novel now, and I see a lot more of that part of the relationship fleshed out in the novel. I wonder if this is more an issue of something of the prose not translating into the film as well as it could have.
Regardless of my criticism, it's still a fascinating movie and much better than your other films in your Top 5.
Other than CAROL though, I rarely ever notice these films mentioned in lists of best lesbian films.
That's not my experience, but it's very tricky with those kind of lists. While Habitación en Roma (2010) (Room in Rome) is very often on lists of viewers and appreciated by quite a few people that are not professional critics, you can find both Notes on a Scandal (2006) and Lianna (1983) on lists of lesbian movies conducted by professional critics. For examples, all three films were mentioned by critics amongst the "Best LGBT Movies of All Time" in March this year (http://www.imdb.com/list/ls034237617/ - Carol (2015) got the most votes), while a list of "The 100 Best Lesbian Movies Of All Time" done by Autostraddle last year only lists Lianna (1983) (https://www.autostraddle.com/100-best-lesbian-queer-bisexual-movies-285412/ - Carol (2015) wasn't released back then).

However, as I wrote, lists are tricky! If you read the comments below the second list, it's interesting that many people ask why Habitación en Roma (2010) is missing, which means it's appreciated by a lot of people. On the other hand, you won't find Imagine Me & You (2005) on the first list done by critics - it's number 3 on the second one. Or the other way around: Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant (1972) (The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant) got 15 votes by the critics of the first list, but it's not even mentioned on the other one (in my personal opinion, it's very similar to Habitación en Roma (2010) in it's setting and construction, but much better and more intriguing). Those are only examples that you can't really trust those lists - and there's certainly no common sense about what makes a lesbian romance movie the best of all of them.

Sorry for the long post - but you seemed to be eager to get some feedback to your initial post!  If you would ask me about my personal favourite lesbian romance movies, I would've problems to chose between all of the films I've seen and to differentiate between drama, romance and tragedy - it's too difficult. There are soooo many good one's, and I'm usually drawn to those (lesbian) movies who end tragically. If I consult my ratings, this would be my Top 20 of lesbian movies:

01. La vie d'Adèle - Chapitres 1 et 2 (2013)
02. Mulholland Dr. (2001)
03. *beep* Åmål (1998)
04. Tru Love (2013)
05. Circumstance (2011)
06. Dupa dealuri (2012)
07. The Children's Hour (1961)
08. Saving Face (2004)
09. La belle saison (2015)
10. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
11. Kyss mig (2011)
12. The Duke of Burgundy (2014)
13. Anatomy of a Love Seen (2014)
14. Antonia (1995)
15. Love My Life (2006)
16. Sancharram (2004)
17. Pride (2014)
18. Ever (2014)
19. Laurence Anyways (2012)
20. Romeo Romeo (2012)

I guess many of them aren't really romances, but for me, all are/were more interesting to watch than your Top 5, including Carol (2015). 

Best wishes,

janar

"Love [...] is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being." - Ellen Page

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Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate the time you took in giving your thoughts and how elaborate they are. I will put my responses below your quotes.

This is an honest question: If that's what you want from a lesbian romance film - to get turned on by women you're attracted to -, why don't you just watch good lesbian porn?
Because it's just not the same. In real life terms, that's like saying if you want to go all the way with somebody you love, why not just go all the way with them – and skip all the emotion?

It's really baffling to me why you would sit through all the complex dialogue, artistic scenery and story telling of characters impersonating real life situations from a decade you're (probably?) not even born - like in Carol (2015) -, when all you want is to fap off? I use this more drastic expression because that's what I got from your post in general by reading it the first time. That's so far from the reasons I like to watch these particular movies about lesbian couples in love. In fact, to get turned on wouldn't be a reason for me to go to any movie I want to see for it's artistic or entertainment value. Which is why your whole post left me kind of speechless in it's general direction and I didn't want to reply.
Well, I really don't know what to say to this except we are clearly on two different wavelengths when it comes to the subject. Because for anyone to read what I wrote as simply a desire to go to the movies and "fap off" is clearly missing the point of not only my post, but of the movie I was posting about. And I find it very hard to believe that anyone goes into a romantic movie, not wanting to be turned on! That's the whole point of romance. Love, followed by seduction. Or, sometimes seduction followed by love. Either way, it does lead to sensual feelings, and anyone who's ever meant someone they are in love with.

Perhaps you and others have had a hard time understanding my reasoning in this, because you fail to identify with the characters you're watching. In other words, if you were identifying with the romance you watched, or if you were correctly able to pinpoint the purpose of the movie you were watching, the idea of being turned on by movie would be only natural to you, just as it is to the characters in the film. You're missing part of the experience, if you are "turned off" by the idea of being turned on by a movie.

Movies are make belief after all, like any art form, and we all have our own motivation to get into them and access them differently.
Of course, the reasons for people watching films are as varied as the films themselves. That's why there are different films for different kinds of people. I don't expect that a person watching a sensual romance movie goes into it without wanting to be swept away in the romance – sensualism and all. Those who don't feel the need to be turned on or swept away by romance wouldn't be watching a romantic film. And if they are watching romantic film, despite claiming to not have a need to fill this way, perhaps they just aren't as self-aware as they think they are.

But, those who are appalled by the idea of being turned on by a movie typically wouldn't be watching romances. They would be watching car chases, documentaries, etc. as I said, they're different kind of movies to evoke different sensations within us. And we all know what romance is for.

thinking that any serious movie/tv directrice/director, writer and/or actress/actor would go through all the shenanigans of making a movie/tv show just to turn you or their audience on feels just plain dumb and offensive to me. There's a whole industry who does the job much better and is specialized in that kind of entertainment, and it's making me really sad and angry that lesbian movies are often reduced to this kind of outcome by a certain group of people when it comes to their viewers and their motives to watch them.
And now we come to the crux of it – you think that by my professing to be turned on or not by movie that happens to be a lesbian film is a direct offense to lesbian films. Again you are misunderstanding the whole idea behind watching a movie to be swept away in the romance and consequently being turned on by it or not. You are undermining the intensity and emotion behind that experience by relating it to the porn industry. I find that quite baffling. Surely you know there's a difference between movie romance and porn.

And, in my opinion, it's completely unfair to all those people in the lesbian community and to those who are interested in their stories to reduce and rate those movies merely in terms of (personal) attractiveness and sexual arousement from your side.
As a woman mainly attracted to women, I don't see what's so offensive about it. I'm only one person and when I view of film, I view it from my own personal perspective. Therefore, my personal emotional experience an emotional attachment or detachment to a film should not be offensive to an entire community.

The variety of themes in lesbian movies in general has become so huge over the last 20 years, from the coming out films that are often also coming of age stories, to movies about same-sex marriages, about difficulties raising or adopting kids, about conflicts within families or relationships when partners suddenly die or get ill, about religious or patriarchal conflicts regarding lesbian couples, and so many more I could add here.
But, as you know, my question was directly related to romance specifically. This has to do with the happiness, the joy, the euphoria, and the sweetness involved in falling in love. Everything else you just mentioned is completely irrelevant to that specific set of emotions. They might be triggers to those emotions, they might be circumstances surrounding those emotions, but they are not the same as what I was talking about. The process of adopting children, the process of losing someone due to death, and the process of coming out to your family is not identical to the very specific process of falling in love or expressing romantic love.

In short, most of your post and especially your question What is your biggest turn on in a lesbian romance film? sound completely stupid and offensive in my ears, because it reduces the effort and outcome of telling lesbian stories to a mere oblivious sexual satisfaction on your side as a viewer. What draws me, personally, into lesbian (romantic) films is the concept of what it means to be a lesbian in our and past times
And this is why you were offended – because you are equating two women loving each other with a political movement or social-studies. Hence, maybe I should cease to use the word lesbian, when describing love stories between women, because I have absolutely no intention of discussing what it means to be a lesbian in the past and present times. That's a topic for another thread. My question was a perfectly innocent inquiry about what makes you as a viewer the most euphoric, joyous, and happy when watching a love story dealing with two women. Is there a recipe? Do the women have to be in an age difference relationship? Do you like comedy, or drama? Do you like authority figures and subordinates falling in love? Etc.

Again, your being offended is completely wasted on my question. There was nothing to be offended about. And in doing so, you are depriving your self the joyous chance to really examine what makes your romantic heart tick.

Losing Chase (1996) got "only" a 5 for reasons I couldn't really tell you after such a long time. So, I watched it again yesterday evening, and I reassured myself that it isn't a very good movie, and not a lesbian romance movie by all means.

for me, one single character alone doesn't make it a lesbian romance, and there's the main problem

I concur with lglg-74253 that this movie is a "lesbian rejection story",
This is just a question of semantics. When I say "love" I often mean "romance" and vice versa. And as we all know, one-sided love is very real, even though it's one-sided. Just because the other character didn't feel the same way, doesn't invalidate the tender, affectionate, warm feelings the other character had. It doesn't invalidate the blossoming and the very real happiness that character felt. And it was that which I connected to – it was that which turned me on (something that porn alone cannot show).

So, apparently there are two types of people who watch romance – one type that requires that both people be in love, and the other type that simply requires love to be present in the story – even omnipresent. And I would say that love was omnipresent throughout LOSING CHASE – which made it way more powerful than a love story with requirements, meaning that two people have to "feel the same". Because I know that even if two people don't feel the same, it doesn't mean that the two people don't have love for each other. And that's a very powerful message – extremely powerful!

Written all that about Losing Chase (1996) regarding the (lesbian) content, I have to say that this movie is partly terribly acted, especially by both of the kids and by Helen Mirren at the beginning. I hated the melodramatic music throughout the movie, which is kind of typical for movies that are associated with the Hallmark Channel - I can't stand it in general.
We differ greatly on this. I love Helen Mirren's acting throughout the film. And I adore the music (done by Kevin Bacon's brother)! Two points in which I do agree with you though is that the acting by the children (and even by the husband that times) is not always the best. I'm also not too much of a fan of Hallmark movies in general. But to me, LOSING CHASE does not come across like the traditional hallmark fare, and other than the aspect ratio of the film, it didn't even seem like a made-for-TV movie to me. It seemed like a low-budget, intimate indie film – the type of which tends to be made with more heart and sincerity, as far as I can tell.

Also, I'm bothered with how the movie ends, because we don't really know what happens with Elizabeth's sister and her whole issue of thinking about becoming mentally ill because of inheritance by her mother. It placates, it doesn't really show,
As I said, this is an intimate film – which means that it doesn't set out to show or prove anything big. It's a little slice of life movie. You're supposed to just enjoy that little slice of life this movie shows you. We can make up our minds about the rest with our imaginations.

The only thing that bugged me about the ending really, was that Elizabeth and Chase don't end up together. But, in thinking about it again, I realized that there is a chance they may have ended up together after all – if you consider Helen Mirren's final line in the movie, i.e. "it was one hell of a storm! Will there be others? There usually are. We'll just have to wait and see!"

Now, on the surface, this quote is obviously referring to her breakdowns and emotional outbursts. But, I believe it also can be interpreted to be referring to the storm that involved her sexual awakening and love affair as well. So when she says "will there be others?" She could just as likely be asking herself the question of whether or not there will be other loves in her life. And she answers that question, by saying "We'll just have to wait and see." So, for the romantic viewer like myself who was desperate for them to end up together, it does leave open the possibility that sometime down the road, Elizabeth herself had an awakening of sorts, and came back to Chase. After all, nowhere in the movie did it conclude that Elizabeth never came back, only that she hadn't at that point. But, who's to say she wouldn't come back eventually? As Chase said "we'll just have to wait and see."

Also worth noting is the real-life example you gave of the actress from the film THE VILLAGE AFFAIR – who ended up having an awakening after the film, and ended up leaving her marriage to be in a relationship with a woman. How do we know this didn't happen with Elizabeth, eventually? The fact is, it's left open to interpretation, if you think about it. So, if we want to say that it did happen and that they ended up together, we can.

And regarding Carol, you wrote:
I still haven't found the time to read the book, but I agree with many of these posters here on the board: It seems that the movie boiled down of what happened between the characters in the book, for reasons I'm not sure of. I would've liked more complex characters and more conflict in their relationship, which would've kind of explained their mutual connection and why they're so drawn to each other.
And this is precisely what I meant when I said that I found LOSING CHASE to be way more satisfying and arousing than CAROL – because it has the aspects that you say Carol lacked. We knew right away where the feelings of these two women came from, we knew what made them drawn to each other, we knew why Chase was falling in love, and we knew why Elizabeth would care for Chase, even if she didn't feel the same way. In short, through the conflicts and development of the characters within the movie, we knew why these two women were bonded, which added importance and intensity to their relationship, but the relationship depicted in CAROL frankly, lacked.

So, for all the misgivings and criticisms you have for LOSING CHASE, it is, in truth, a better developed film, and therefore a better depicted relationship. It may not have the fancy production value of CAROL, but aside from that, it does have more to offer.

Thanks again for replying! 😃

Please excuse typos/funny wording; I use speech-recognition that doesn't always recognize!

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My full list of romantic lesbian movie favorites goes a little something like this (Order may vary depending on my mood):

1.Losing Chase (1996)
2.Habitación en Roma (2010)
3.Carol (2015)
4.Notes on a Scandal (2006)
5.Lianna (1983)


Notes on a Scandal a "romantic lesbian movie"? It's a great film with superb performances by Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, but it's not a lesbian film, and certainly not romantic. Barbara Covet, the character Judi Dench plays, is undoubtedly a repressed lesbian who is attracted to Cate's character, Sheba Hart, but there's absolutely no lesbian interaction between them. If anything, Sheba is repelled by Barbara, particularly when she learns of her feelings. Not romantic at all.

Likewise, Helen Mirren is great in Losing Chase, but Kyra Sedgewick's character doesn't return her feelings at all, even though they share a kiss one time. Again, there's no lesbian relationship between these characters. The movie does not offer the promise of a happy ending, as Carol does. Anyone who looks to these films hoping to find something similar to Carol in the treatment of a lesbian relationship in which there is a mutual attraction between the two women will be sorely disappointed.

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Notes on a Scandal a "romantic lesbian movie"? It's a great film with superb performances by Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, but it's not a lesbian film, and certainly not romantic.
Perhaps you have to be familiar with unrequited love to know how romantic a one-way love can be. It doesn't have to be a feeling between a couple to be romantic. A starry night can be romantic. Waterfalls can be romantic. Anything can be romantic, depending on how it makes a person, or persons – whatever the case may be – feel.

So, with that said, I maintain that NOTES ON A SCANDAL is a very romantic film. As for whether or not it's a lesbian film, I mentioned in another post that maybe I would stop using that word to describe movies with relationships between women that I perceive as lovely – because inevitably, everyone comes out with their own idea of what makes a lesbian relationship, what makes a person lesbian, etc., etc. For me though, it's quite simple: if at least one person has feelings for another person of the same sex, if they are woman, it would qualify as a lesbian film. And it's clear to me that the character of Barbara definitely has feelings for Sheba – regardless of whether Sheba feels the same.

Of course, those who consider themselves lesbian may not like to brand this as a lesbian love-story, because of the nature of the characters involved and their major flaws. But I think that their indiscretions made them even more compelling and even more touching. In fact, as I said to others on this board, NOTES ON A SCANDAL, at its very core, is a movie about unrequited love, desperation, and most of all – forgiveness.

At the very heart of the story is forgiveness. As two examples: recall how after the big fight scene between Sheba and Barbara, Sheba ran off with Barbara's journal (which was filled with all the sordid details of things that Barbara knew and thought – things that could've gotten her reputation ruined for life) and she waved it in front of authorities and reporters – obviously knowing that exposing the journal could have made for the perfect revenge on Barbara's indiscretion. But she soon had a change of heart, and in the very next scene, she is shown gently placing Barbara's Journal back on the table – which was, for her, the ultimate gesture of mercy. Because understand – the journal was filled with incriminating evidence that could have brought charges up against Barbara herself, for not turning Sheba in.

All in all, despite the fact that Sheba was going to jail and she knew it, she resisted the temptation to be vengeful – she instead had compassion where others might not have. She chose to show mercy. And what could possibly be a more loving thing than that? Some loves might equal it, but no love can surpass the supreme depth of care and compassion that such forgiveness as portrayed in this film takes.

A second example of love in the form of forgiveness shown in NOTES ON A SCANDAL is the scene when Sheba finally returns to her husband after a brief separation. Considering all that she put him through – he could've been bitter – he could've slammed the door in her face and refused to take her back. But in an act of true love, he took pity on her tears, had heart for her heart, and forgave her. Probably not many spouses would do that, but it would be nice if they did.

And as for the character of Barbara herself – most everyone wants to say how horrible she was, how annoying, etc. but I see her as a desperate individual severely lacking in emotional nourishment. She is emotionally malnourished and lonesome. Enter Sheba, and she suddenly feels happy and hopeful. She suddenly feels more alive. And I don't know about you, but to me, there can be no more accurate description of being in love than feeling more alive when you're around that person. Barbara was definitely in love. And NOTES ON A SCANDAL is definitely a love story – however scandalous it may be.

Likewise, Helen Mirren is great in Losing Chase, but Kyra Sedgewick's character doesn't return her feelings at all, even though they share a kiss one time. Again, there's no lesbian relationship between these characters. The movie does not offer the promise of a happy ending, as Carol does.
I refer back to my original statement that a movie doesn't have to conform to such strict definitions of lesbianism in order to be considered a lesbian love story. Just because Keira Sedgwick's character does not return Helen Mirren's character's feelings in no way invalidates this from being a lesbian love story. And the reason why is just what I explained to you – the romance. And romance is not strictly defined by two individuals with exactly the same feelings for each other. In fact, romance can be one way or two-way, and each person within a romance has their own idea of what makes the relationship special. It's probably safe to say that no two people in a relationship feel the same way about that relationship. And that's why LOSING CHASE is indeed a lesbian love story. Because it's about a woman who loves another woman. Simple as that. And while Keira Sedgwick's character may not have the same type of love for Helen Mirren's character, that doesn't mean that she can't appreciate the love that Helen Mirren's character has for her (which I think she does appreciate it), and that doesn't mean that she doesn't love Chase more for loving her – but in her own way.

As I said before – both of these films are very much lesbian love stories when one doesn't set such strict criteria for what qualifies as one. And it's better not to – because it seems to me in reading these responses, that the people who have such a strict idea of what makes a lesbian relationship are people who ultimately deprived themselves of noticing the subtle nuances and sweet messages contained within both of these films – which is a real shame.

Please excuse typos/funny wording; I use speech-recognition that doesn't always recognize!

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