the guest house (2012)

theguesthouse

Disclaimer: I haven’t had sex in three weeks.

Hello Queer Cinema Acolytes and Seasoned Friends. I’m writing you from a windowless basement in Peterborough, New Hampshire, decorated only by a wire sculpture of a cat and a plastic tub of disinfectant wipes. Yes. I am at the famed MacDowell Colony, writing the next great American play, hobnobbing with fancy folk and consuming at least three thousand calories a day. Exercise here consists of walking to meals and bumming rides to town, where I purchase cigarettes, microbrews and organic coffee syrup. But after savoring a fine port and a collection of politically-aspiring Portuguese video essays this evening at a raucous open studio, I was reminded of those who got me here and the dues I must pay. And no, I didn’t call my mother because I’m a good forty minutes away from actual phone reception. Downing the last of my Sandman mixed with a delectable rosé, I made the trek back to Colony Hall, six-pack in tow (not the abdominal muscles, little scamps) to take in an On-Demand and was quickly reassured, it has not been too long. These are the sacrifices I make. We are a community.

Tonight, I had the perverse pleasure of consuming Michael Baumgarten’s The Guest House, an LA-based lipstick lezzie concoction featuring loads of soft-core and some bad Aimee Mann rip-off vocals, courtesy of Ruth Reynolds playing the film’s luscious, just-eighteen protagonist Rachel. Kool-Aid dye job aside, Rachel is all the right stuff and she even makes a hideous tramp stamp forgivable when she strips out of her Hot Topic get-up and into the arms of Amy, her father’s recently-hired intern, played with pouty vulnerability by the comely Madeline Merritt. Amy’s just hit Los Angeles to pursue vague work with Rachel’s recently widowed pop, the sleazy Tom McCafferty, and she’s conveniently being housed in the title’s guest house where Rachel’s mom used to render abstracts and be “arty.” The duo paint the town red while Dad’s away on business, boning jail bait (by the looks of a long-distance phone call he makes to Rachel from the hallway of a Holiday Inn). They visit a carnival, ride bikes and while away the afternoon dancing to a generic alt-country soundtrack so you’re sure to feel really firmly located in the land of the predictable. Long story short, all that bike-riding gives Amy a serious knot in her traps and about two minutes into a generous massage at the hands of our faux-goth heroine, she’s on her back and tribbing‘s never looked so good.

Then some other things happen.

These include a shower scene featuring shampoo AND a removable shower head, getting high in a hot tub (have any of these people actually tried having sex in water?) and a trip to get more shitty tattoos for both of them. (It first appeared that they were headed for a sex shop and I thought we might be served up some fun cock-shopping, but this is a family film, after all.) In the course of this, we learn about following our dreams and how to wake up after a good fuck-fest with our Wonderbras intact. I won’t spoil the surprise twist fifteen minutes shy of the ending except to say it might’ve been just as effective without the slo-mo breakfast tray drop.

Alright. That’s all for now. I’m off to raid the bread cabinet and get lost in the dark. Question of the night: will I ever know passion again or should I resign myself to picnic baskets and low-level masturbation?

New York, I know you miss me.

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