Within the confines of the lesbian indie film, which has become defined by romantic capers such as "Dessert Hearts," "Go Fish" and "Kissing Jessica Stein," "Molly's Girl" defies convention.
The beginning, with the title character turning off a real array of male losers at one of those wildly hopeless speed-dating events, serves as a funny eye opener. Without giving away any spoilers, I can reveal that the end especially goes against everything you would expect in such a film. What comes in between equally upsets expectations of the standard girl-meets-girl set-up.
What's disturbing here is the character of Molly. Emotionally, and very likely mentally unstable, rejected by her uptight family, and not having much luck in the straight dating game, she ends up being used by Mercedes, a marriage equality activist.
Beginning with her gorgeous soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend, everyone asks Mercedes whom she's really fighting. It's to the credit of Scott Thompson, the writer and director, that he's willing to ask these questions (even if I myself didn't see any conflict in a lesbian fighting like hell for marriage equality). Hell, it's to his credit that a man had the moxie to write and direct a lesbian-themed indie at all.
Even so, after a while, it became repetitious for Mercedes constantly to have to justify her mission. And I was very uncomfortable with the way she used the vulnerable Molly to infiltrate the suburban home of her estranged father, a homophobic state senator.
That final plot twist is one that would have confounded Hitchcock. Again, no spoilers, but trust me: You won't see it coming. No Macguffin (Hitch's term for something seemingly unimportant that turns out to be the plot's linchpin) here. I'll only say that when a home is as perfect as the senator's, you know there's got to be a rotting beam down there somewhere.
Thompson gets extra points for rounding out the character of the senator's wife. On the surface a slightly boozy Polly Perfect housewife, his script keeps leaving hints, like bread crumbs on a trail, that lead up to a beautifully done soliloquy in which she really gives it to Mercedes. It helps that she's played by a soap opera veteran, Ellen Dolan, who knows from such kitchen-sink revelations.
As Mercedes, Emily Schweitz combines a perky know-it-all with a dollop of self-doubt. Kristina Valada-Viars does as well as she can with Molly's endless, grating patter. Everyone keeps telling Mercedes how pretty she is, and Schweitz certainly does have a gentle, Renoir-like beauty.
I hope the ladies reading this review don't mind if I add that Nick Renkoski, as the f fiancée of Molly's obnoxious elder sister (as opposed to the obnoxious younger sister), gives the guys (and straight gals) some eye candy.
The DVD of "Molly's Girl" has no real extras to speak of. I doubt if anyone will want to spend too much time with deleted scenes in a film whose edited version takes its time telling the story. There's also a trailer for those who care.