2018, NR, 90 min. Directed by Jenna Laurenzo. Starring Jenna Laurenzo, Caitlin Mehner, Cloris Leachman, Bruce Dern, Kevin Pollak, Brandon Micheal Hall.
REVIEWED By Sarah Marloff, Fri., Nov. 9, 2018
Coming out can be a lot of things, but rarely is it depicted as funny, which is partially why Jenna Laurenzo wrote Lez Bomb six years ago. And before you think, "Not another coming-out movie," rest assured, this one will make you laugh out loud.
Lez Bomb tackles the evergreen issue over turkey and spinach dip. Nice Jersey girl Lauren (Laurenzo, who also directed) has big plans to bring her girlfriend home to meet her family on Thanksgiving. All she has to do is come out to them first – what could possibly go wrong? Well, anyone who has a family can answer that question and, inevitably, hijinks, pot-smoking, and hilarity ensue.
While rarely feeling heavy-handed, Lez Bomb manages to be both over-the-top funny and yet incredibly realistic, sans the doom and gloom of yesteryear. The movie is largely a family affair, shot in Laurenzo’s actual home and her mother’s motel, and offers a refreshing take on the anxieties around telling your parents, “Hey, I’m queer.” But what it also does, with a good portion of humor, is show just how great it can feel after the big reveal (sometimes it is all rainbows and unicorns).
In a post-Love, Simon world, it’s almost forgettable that the majority of lesbian films from the Nineties and early Aughts ended in tragedy or heartbreak or lesbians – somehow – having more sex with cis men than with women. 2005’s Imagine Me & You was one of the only movies in the lesbian canon that let young queer women believe in happy endings. More than a decade later, Laurenzo’s Lez Bomb – used as a colloquialism for coming out – not only offers a happy ending for 2018 (it’s a romantic comedy after all), but could easily sidle up next to Simon as a mainstream queer film.
A version of this review ran during the All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival.