Program 01: Lez Bomb
OPENING NIGHT SELECTION
Directed by Jenna Laurenzo
Thanksgiving is a time for family. For sitting down together, for seeing relatives you haven’t seen in a while, for eating and drinking (and more drinking). It’s also a time for misunderstandings and digging up old wounds and trying so hard to make a very important announcement, only to have nobody listen.
That last bit is what happens to Lauren (writer-director Jenna Laurenzo) when she invites Hayley (Caitlin Mehner, Ocean’s Eight), her girlfriend of 6 months, to meet her at her parents’ house for the holiday. Her plan is to tell her family that she’s gay, that she and Hayley are serious, and to finally be free of the burden she’s been carrying since she was in college.
As with most stories that center around a family gathered for a holiday though, things don’t exactly go as planned. First, Lauren’s roommate Austin shows up unexpectedly, and Lauren’s parents (Dierdre O’Connell, The Affair and Kevin Pollak, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – having enormous amounts of fun with their roles) automatically assume he’s the new person in their daughter’s life, something Austin does nothing to dispel. Then the rest of the family descends, in a sea of familiar faces: Cloris Leachman and Bruce Dern as Lauren’s grandparents; Steve Guttenberg as Rose’s weed-toking brother; and Rob Moran and Elaine Hendrix as Lauren’s cancer-stricken uncle and waycooler-than-she-seems aunt. The day quickly becomes chaotic and every time Lauren attempts to share her news, she’s talked over, misunderstood, or pushed aside, until her parents think she’s pregnant, her grandmother thinks she’s in a love triangle, and Hayley is at the end of her rope.
“I wrote Lez Bomb because it was the movie I wanted to see, but couldn’t find,” says Jenna Laurenzo, and she’s right. Her film is a unique twist on an old comedy trope, and it works surprisingly well, thanks to an ensemble cast that understands what it means to have exceptional comedic timing. The suburban New Jersey setting offers just the right amount of gray as a backdrop, and Laurenzo’s writing is smooth and witty, begging the question, “Is there ever a good time to drop the lez bomb?”
— Georgia Beers
- JURY AWARD, BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE – Bentonville Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Frameline San Francisco Int’l LGBTQ Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – aGLIFF: Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival