Having more mainstream queer cinema is something that is much needed; Below Her Mouth, however, feels very stereotypical.
The film tells the story of a lesbian love affair where straight acting Jasmine (Natalie Krill) meets Dallas (Erika Linder) and instantly fall in love.
Now, making a film about a lesbian couple who have a complicated relationship is not anything new to mainstream cinema.
Out of the LGBTQI films, female sexuality has had widespread representation with the likes of Blue Is The Warmest Colour gaining critical acclaim.
The same cannot be said for queer men. Moonlight, which truly intersected queerness with blackness, was the first movie to really receive mainstream recognition
The problem with the April Mullen-directed film is it feels like a straight man wrote and directed it.
For me, it always felt as if the director’s lens was looking through the male gaze of what their idea of lesbians is.
The same goes for the writing. The fact that Dallas is very feminine and falls for a very masculine-looking Jasmine seems like it’s how a straight man thinks all lesbians are. The plot as a whole is also flawed.
The way that Dallas goes from being engaged to a man, to instantly falling in love with Jasmine and being ready to risk it all, is unrealistic. The chemistry between them is also not always that believable.
The sex scenes, while beautifully shot, at times feel unnecessary.
Where in Blue is the Warmest Colour they felt like an integral part of the story, here they feel like raunch for the sake of raunch.
The dialogue is also horrendous. Whenever Dallas and Jasmine interact it feels forced, and the fact that they struggle to have a real conversation about what their relationship is, is quite shocking.
You would think that something as life-changing as leaving your fiancé for another woman would be something you would have a conversation about.
The uptake in queer cinema is truly amazing and for the general public to see more queer-centric films is important. TV series such as Looking have given a better representation of what it truly means to be a queer person.
However, films like Below Her Mouth perpetuate stereotypes of queerness that are outdated. Queer men, women and non-binary people come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s time that their stories are shown instead of seeing another film where two