Film review: Liz in September

Joanna Wagner
LGBT Perspectives Film Critic

SAN FRANCISCO — Liz is a fashion model (as is Velasquez) and a real heart breaker, literally and figuratively. Every year in September, Liz (Patricia Velasquez) goes to a Caribbean beach resort to celebrate her birthday with friends. This year will be different though. Liz has a secret that will make this year special.

Liz in September (2014) opens with Eva (co-star Eloisa Maturen) lying in bed while her husband (Martin Brassesco) is in the shower. They’re leaving on their own beach retreat. Eva is feigning sleep when her husband’s phone rings. Eva looks at the caller ID. It’s a woman. Eva puts the phone down and continues to fake sleep. Her husband returns the call in the bathroom and comes out to announce that he has to go to the office. Eva should go ahead to the beach and he will join her the following day.

Eva’s trip is interrupted by car trouble and she will need to spend the night in a small beach town while waiting for it to be repaired. The only place with a vacancy is down the road and unbeknownst to Eva is a vacation spot that caters to lesbians.

Her fellow guests give her a warm greeting. Once she goes to her room, the women have a laugh about the straight girl and Liz makes a bet that she can get Eva into bed within 3 days. The movie, of course, follows Liz’s efforts at seduction, but it’s much more than that. It’s about two women finding love and friendship as they deal with their personal tragedies.

In addition to the fine acting by Velasquez and Maturen, the supporting players turn in very good performances. The cinematography is the best I’ve seen in an LGBT-oriented film since 1995’s When Night Is Falling. The underwater scenes are breathtaking and the interiors intimate.

It’s also a film that requires your undivided attention. There are subtleties that will be important later in the movie.

The film is a story of love and romance. While it has lightness and humour, those scenes are punctuated with some serious subject matter. Treat yourself to a very well done romance — and don’t forget the handkerchiefs.

In Spanish with subtitles, see it at Wolfe Video on Demand, $6.99.

Liz en Septembre


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