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A Forgettable Kiss

In “This Kiss” two old friends reconnect before their high school reunion to relive a lesbian moment they once shared

Featuring unoriginal characters and replete with soap opera dialogue, This Kiss is hardly worth the 67 minutes necessary to watch it. The weak and predictable plot revolves around two women — Lucy and Juliet — reunited friends from childhood who, until the first minutes of the movie, have not seen each other in 10 years.

Juliet (Mel Lockman), a thin-as-a-rail ice queen attached to her cell phone and even more self-absorbed and work-obsessed than The L Word’s Bette Porter, surprises Lucy with a visit the weekend of their high school reunion. Lucy (Tamsin Gatewood), now an overweight, unhappy housewife who hides comfort food in the nooks and crannies of her home, is less than thrilled to find herself face-to-face with this insensitive, neurotic version of her former best friend. The reason for the high level of tension between the two and the years of silence (an unfortunately timed kiss at a high school party 10 years earlier) is not revealed until nearly the end of the film, leaving the audience lost as the women ride out an overdramatic roller coaster of emotions during their one-day encounter.
This Kiss opens with a scene from the girls’ friendship as teens and is almost endearing until it becomes clear that the home video-quality lighting and camera angles will be lasting throughout the movie. The technical problems notwithstanding, writer-director Kylie Eddy’s plot seems promising at first — certainly a long-awaited reunion between such close friends will cause an interesting combination of drama and comedy and, perhaps, as hinted by the title, a kiss. Lucy and Juliet, though, adhere to such stereotypes of themselves that no genuine character development takes place, causing every untimely cell phone call, heated conversation, and door slam to feel forced or at least contrived.

Within the first 15 minutes of the film, both women experience a complete breakdown — Lucy because she suspects her husband is cheating on her, and Juliet over her attachment issues and work-related stress — offering them a bonding opportunity that quickly solves the problem of their discomfort around each nother. As Lucy and Juliet each drown their sorrows with ice cream and drugs, respectively, they share their stories (perhaps in an attempt to give the audience some much-needed insight into their characters). and before you know it, they’re even dancing around the living room together.

They reminisce about their high school days, going so far as to pull out their dresses from graduation and try them on again (Lucy apparently bought Juliet’s dress at a yard sale Juliet’s parents had). Miraculously, the dresses somehow still fit both women even though, throughout the movie, Lucy has repeatedly bemoaned her extreme weight gain since her high school days. And so they stand in front of a full-length mirror, high school dresses on, awkwardly experiencing a merging of their past and their present — perhaps the only moment of the film that offers meaningful symbolism.

The much-anticipated kiss finally happens towards the end of the film, only to be completely without chemistry and, predictably, immediately followed by Lucy running back into the safety of her home, horrified at having kissed her friend. As the women spend the last minutes of the film sorting through the real issues behind their years of lapsed friendship, it becomes clear that any possibility of a relationship between the two died back in high school.

The film ends abruptly with little or no resolution, leaving the audience confused and disappointed.

Da Advocate.com

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