Review: Jamie And Jessie Are Not Together

Sooo, here is the first of what is to become a twice-monthly tradition of lesbian movie reviews! Taylor and I will watch the same lesbi-tastic movie and feed back to you our thoughts, concerns and criticisms. We got off to a cracking start with Jamie And Jessie Are Not Together. Unfortunately, we discovered Jamie And Jessie Are Not Really Worth Watching...


What the blurb told us:
Taking inspiration from films like 500 Days of Summer, And Then Came Lola and Kissing Jessica Stein, Jamie and Jessie Are Not Together is the perfect anti-date movie, with songs! From the director of cult hit Hannah Free, join Jamie and Jessie for a ride filled with laughs. Jamie is moving from Chicago to New York in two weeks, hoping to become a Broadway actress. Her best friend Jessica is bummed, because she thinks she is in love with Jamie, so as moving day gets closer, she tries to make Jamie jealous by dating other women, with hilarious results.



Alex says:
It's safe to say that 'Jamie And Jessie Are Not Together' was not in the slightest what Taylor or I thought it would be from the packaging and blurb. We had - not unreasonably considering the girly pink packaging! - got the impression this was a fun romantic comedy somewhat akin to Kissing Jessica Stein.

This could not have been less of the case. What 'Jamie And Jessie Are Not Together' (referred to from here on as Jajant) actually turned out to be was an unprecedented car crash of a movie. Years of watching independent queer cinema has made me tolerant of - how do I say this nicely? - wooden actors, self-indulgent characters and wobbly cameras but even I couldn't stomach Jajant.
Fun, it ain't, romantic, it couldn't be less, and it's only a comedy because of how dire it is.

It tells the tale of two actors (in fact, every character in this movie appears to be an actor), Jessie - who is butchy but hasn't committed, she wears beanie hats - and Jamie - who is butch in appearance, wearing odd butchy ensembles which all too frequently include bandanas and braces, making her look like a butchy cross between a gay man from the 80s club scene and a butchy little Victorian street urchin, but who is shockingly femme in her behaviour. Surprised because neither of these characters are half of the canoodling pair on the cover? So was I. The blonde is actually the back of Jessie's head and the other, whose face is half the promo photo, is a woman who appears for all of ten minutes because she has a boat. Why does the latter grace the cover of Jajant? Couldn't tell you.


Back to the gripping plot. We are told Jessie is "in love" with "best friend" Jamie but they share zero chemistry, even in scenes only included to endear you to the duo: making picture frames - sigh! Eating pizza - how dreamy! They must be meant to be. However, alas, Jajant revolves around how this is not the case. Instead, Jamie is an irresistible playa who travels around the neighbourhood having sexual encounters whilst wearing girl boxers. Jamie's studly status is explained in some of the most eloquent lines in the movie: when she meets Jessie on the beach post-sex and speaks too close to her, Jessie tells her, "I can tell what you had for dinner", there's a lovely moment where Jamie tells a lady she just slept with not to "rub it in" and said lady responds, "That's not what you said a minute ago" and a really just very strange 'The Room'-esque scene where Jessie gets drunk at a BBQ and yells that everyone there has had sex with Jamie before revealing Jamie sold her eggs for money. Drama.


As shocking as it may seem, despite all this codswallop, there was a yet more unforgivable feature of Jajant. It makes a half-hearted attempt at pretending it's, of all things, a musical. Within the first sixteen minutes, there are two large musical numbers and then the rest of the movie proceeds as if these oddities never happened. Fact about me: throwing songs into pretty much anything makes me feel all is right with the world, so this movie tricked me into thinking it might be ironic and fun. However, after being teased and tantalised and then cruelly abandoned by the musical numbers (which weren't even good to start with, I should also mention my love of musicals is entirely undiscriminating) it only made me even less forgiving of the tirelessly rubbish tale that was to follow.


Taylor says:
A gay musical? How charming! Lesbians in love? *swoon* A low budget, non committedly musical car wreck of a movie? Wait, what?! Yeah, I know. Alex and I were first introduced to Jajant in our favorite gay bookstore in London. It was among their DVD selection and we naively thought it would make for a fun night in.

Within the first ten minutes of Jajant there is an incredibly awkward, totally bizarre musical number in a coffee shop. The lyrics include things like, “What’s the point? These beans smell better than they taste.” Huh?


The musical element was the least of our worries though. The films’ main characters Jessie (Jessica London-Shields) and Jamie (Jax Jackson) are meant to be trapped in a messy love debacle but their chemistry is non-existent. The dialogue is stale and the only time I found myself laughing was at the movie.

However, that’s not to say that our night of Jajant was a total misery.
Highlights from the evening included the striking resemblance between Jamie and Benedict Cumberbatch
(picture below) and polishing off an entire bottle of champagne with Alex in a comical attempt to make the movie better.


I’m clearly not a fan, but it seems that I might be in the minority with that opinion. AfterEllen.com said (link), “Jamie and Jessie are Not Together is one of the funniest, most original lesbians films of the year.” I can’t help but wonder if we were watching the same film…but who knows? Maybe they too discovered the delightful resemblance between Jamie and Sherlock Holmes.


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