When Night is Falling

Reviewed By Scott Weinberg
Posted 12/06/02 06:27:36

"How I Became a Lesbian: A Lifetime Original Movie"
3 stars (Average)

OK, let’s put on our “grown-up” hats because we’re going to talk about a Lesbian Movie. (Heehee! Lesbians! Cool!) Ahem. Those are the kinds of outburst I’m hoping to avoid, since When Night is Falling is a wholly sincere (and actually sorta compelling) romance drama about the tentative love affair between a confident homosexual lady and a desperately unhappy ‘straight gal’. (This one would make for an interesting double feature with the more recent Kissing Jessica Stein.)

Camille and her stuffy fiancée are angling for positions are at staunch religious college and must avoid all sorts of sin. Lesbianism, for example, is a ‘sin’. Unlucky then for Camille that she finds herself more than a little attracted to slinky circus performer Petra. The confused gal must now combat her confused feelings about Petra while keeping the relationship a secret.

If all this sounds like nothing more than some 3AM Cinemax flick, it’s important to remember that When Night is Falling isn’t about cheap titillation. Obviously crafted with some sensitivity for the plight of ‘newfound sexual identities’, the movie earns point for sheer sincerity – even if the drama is often a bit predictable...and the narrative sometimes slows down to a crawl.

Written and directed by Patricia Rozema (and filmed in the fiscally-sound spot of Ontario, Canada), When Night is Falling may not be the most unique or groundbreaking movie about the topic of lesbianism, but to those looking for an earnest depiction (and one that doesn’t wallow in the seemingly inherent ‘leering’ of similar films), it’s certainly worthy of a look.

It ain't deep, but it ain't awful.

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