If you’re searching for some decent dyke drama to tide you over until the next season of L Word: Generation Q, look no further than Good Kisser . After nearly two years together, Kate (Rachel Paulson) and Jenna (Kari Alison Hodge) are looking to spice up their relationship. When Kate suggests a joint date with another woman, Jenna agrees – in spite of her reservations. Enter Mia (Julia Eringer).
Mia cuts a glamorous figure, with her stories about globetrotting and hook-ups with Very Famous Female Rockstar (my money’s on Carrie Brownstein). She’s confident and charismatic. And Jenna is immediately drawn in. Though she was the one who pushed for the threesome, it’s Kate who is most plagued by jealousy. Her attempts to interrupt the connection between Jenna and Mia become increasingly transparent as their evening together goes on. But, ultimately, it’s Kate’s own behavior that creates the biggest fault lines in her relationship with Jenna.
There’s a fair amount of awkwardness in Good Kisser. Not only in the situation – an unstable love triangle – but the dialogue. To paraphrase Bojack Horseman, “it’s not Ibsen.” Lines such as “I think I have some nut skin in my teeth, so I’m just gonna go take care of that” belong on the cutting room floor. In fact, much of the film’s first half could have been edited out. For the first half hour, in spite of all that sexual tension, Good Kisser lags.
But it’s worth persevering. The lush soundtrack and the beautifully choreographed love scenes more than make up for the clunky dialogue. Plus, the dyke drama is delicious once it gets going. There is more to Kate’s relationship than she had admitted to Jenna while arranging the threesome. And, although she is charming enough to get away with it, Mia’s story about the house belonging to her friend Daniel doesn’t quite add up.
At times there are sizeable gaps in the plot. How do two guests know where to find a corkscrew, CD player, and matches in a home they’ve never previously visited? And why is everybody’s hair perfect after a sweaty, passionate threesome? But let’s be real – nobody’s watching a film about a lesbian three way because they care about consistency.
Good Kisser tells the story of a lesbian couple embarking on a voyage of sexual discovery. But – more than that – it’s a story set in the space between truth and lies, self-doubt and security, lust and love. The movie is never stronger than when it’s leaning into those grey areas. Kate and Jenna arrive at Mia’s house as a couple in love, if not in harmony. But will the events of Good Kisser make or break their relationship?