PLGFF Film Review: ‘The New World’

Guest community blogger Perry Eising (also author of Ride Time) fills in a couple of the PLGFF spots I couldn’t make it to. Every bit as queer and sharp, keep an eye on this one…

‘The New World’

There are two things I noticed about this year’s PLGFF right away: There aren’t very many movies about/with/for queer women, and the one with the most stylish looking dykes in it was about getting pregnant!

Now, I like kids just fine, but it is a storyline I’m a little bored with at this point–after Bette and Tina on The L Word, Ellen and Sharon in If These Walls Could Talk 2 and a bunch of other movies and tv shows. It seems to be dire straits for lesbian storylines that don’t involve pregnancy.

But it’s also a cardinal rule that French lesbians are always cute (at least on film) so I elected to see the French lesbian-pregnancy comedy The New World as my first pick of this year’s 12th PLGFF festival and I was pleasantly surprised.

The first few choppy minutes aside, The New World is well written and well acted. The performances of all the leads are relatable and convincing, and the film has a strong comedic footing with some genuine snappy dialogue (even with subtitles!).

Lucie (Natalia Dontcheva) and Marion (Vanessa Larre) form a happy, well adjusted French couple with a broad circle of straight and gay friends living the good gay life when Lucie decides it’s time for her to have a baby. Marion needs to be won over, families and friends need to be convinced, a donor needs to be found, and doctors need to be confused before Lucie finally gets to drop her sprog. But that is not the end of all of their family complications. What will their new-found family relationships look like? What is Marion’s role? And how does Hugo, their child’s biological father, fit in? And where did Marion and Lucie get those adorable rainbow wool ponchos?

These are all questions that will be answered by the end of the film, which will keep you giggling to the end. There isn’t much hot lovin’ but plenty of smoochy cuteness, and all the leads are nice to look at. Marion’s Crazy Christian Mum (Roman Catholic, a nice twist) provides plenty of drama, and the dialogue keeps on firing, including some hilarious interjections by an American-French lawyer and Lucie’s nut job hippie parents, who seem to like to eat outside even when it’s freezing cold. Even though I could have done without the plot twist in the last third, it didn’t suffer too much for it.

Nothing about this movie is particularly ground-breaking, but it is a good, solid comedy that has plenty for the Proud Parent and the Child-Free factions alike to laugh about. I ended up really enjoying myself, and was impressed by the good production values despite the fact that it’s obviously not a Hi-Budget flick. The New World provides a funny addition to a queer girl’s film canon, perfect for a movie night with friends at home and a nice glass of French red wine. B+

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