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Girl Meets Girl: Sexual Sitings in Lesbian Romantic Comedies

  • Kelly McWilliam
Chapter

Abstract

Hollywood romantic comedies are, by and large, an ideologically conservative genre. Based around gender stereotypes and the idealized pursuit, however disguised, of heteropatriarchal monogamy, Hollywood romantic comedies offer countless variations of heteronormative “intimacy.” How, then, does the shift from “boy meets girl” to “girl meets girl” in lesbian romantic comedies—a genre that emerged in 1994 with the release of films like Bar Girls and Go Fish—affect the representation of intimacy? This chapter focuses on Better than Chocolate to investigate how lesbian intimacies, and lesbian sex in particular, occupy space. Where are lesbian intimacies sited and what, if any, negotiations of space are triggered through the embodiment of those intimacies? Ultimately, this chapter argues that through an unusually explicit emphasis on sex, Better than Chocolate draws attention to the limited public mobility of lesbian intimacies through a consistent siting of lesbian sex as a site of spatial negotiation.

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Filmography

  1. Bar Girls. Director: Marita Giovanni. Performers: Nancy Allison Wolfe, Liza D’Agostino, and Camila Griffs. Orion Classics, 1994.Google Scholar
  2. Better than Chocolate. Director: Anne Wheeler. Performers: Karyn Dwyer and Christina Cox. Trimark Pictures, 1999.Google Scholar
  3. But I’m a Cheerleader. Director: Jamie Babbit. Performers: Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuValle. Lions Gate Films, 2000.Google Scholar
  4. A Family Affair. Director: Helen Lesnick. Performers: Helen Lesnick, Erica Shaffer, and Arlene Golonka. RGH/Lions Share Pictures, 2001.Google Scholar
  5. Go Fish. Director: Rose Troche. Performers: V.S. Brodie, Guinevere Turner, and T. Wendy McMillan. Samuel Goldwyn Company, 1994.Google Scholar
  6. The Incredibly True Adventure of 2 Girls in Love. Director: Maria Maggenti. Performers: Laurel Holloman and Nicole Ari Parker. Fine Line Features, 1995.Google Scholar
  7. It’s in the Water. Director: Kelli Herd. Performers: Keri Jo Chapman, Teresa Garrett, and Derrik Sanders. Kelli Herd Film Company, 1996.Google Scholar
  8. Late Bloomers. Director: Julia Dyer. Performers: Connie Nelson, Dee Hennigan, and Gary Carter. Strand Releasing, 1996.Google Scholar
  9. Never Been Kissed. Director: Raja Gosnell. Performers: Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, and Michael Vartan. Twentieth Century Fox, 1999.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly McWilliam
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

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