The Hook-Up Generation
Claire of the Moon (1992): 2 out of 10: This is why women’s studies majors shouldn’t be allowed to write and direct films. Of course, woman’s studies does not study all woman as women have opinions and accomplishments as varied as men.
Woman’s studies courses as pointed out by Professors Dapne Patai and Noretta Koertgein in ‘Professing Feminism: Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women’s Studies’ are more interested in “the political mission of training feminist cadres to override educational concerns. The strategies of faculty members in these programs have included policing insensitive language, championing research methods deemed congenial to women (such as qualitative over quantitative methods), and conducting classes as if they were therapy sessions.”
Woman’s studies is an exercise in a particular group-think that attacks freedom as a whole and the freedom of women in particular. Claire of the Moon is full of long anti-woman diatribes claiming straight women are undermining the feminist movement (this is assuming that straight women can be feminists mind you). Claire of the Moon was directed by a woman, so of course, so this anti-woman point of view is okay. This is the Precious rule where as long as you are a member of a group you can make a film that drags out every horrible stereotype about said group and will be praised for it. Now had the same film had been written and directed by a straight white male, people would have burned the theater down.
This politically correct nonsense really should not affect the enjoyment of a film as one can be pro-nuclear power and still enjoy Godzilla as an example. Claire of the Moon, however, has much bigger problems than its absolutist point of view.
Claire of the Moon’s plot consists of two women who become roommates at an all-woman writer’s retreat (I would think a writer’s retreat would have individual rooms. This, however, is never examined.) Our titular protagonist Claire Jabrowski (Trisha Todd) is a drunk woman (Think Sherrybaby) who is sloppy, sleeps with creepy men at the drop of a hat and passes for a writer in the way that Tara Reid is convincing as a brainy anthropologist in Alone in the Dark. Playing Felix to Todd’s Oscar is Karen Trumbo who plays a successful lesbian writer who is very butch and a neat freak. They hate each other on sight so it’s going to be a long tedious ride before the inevitable hook-up sex.
Claire of The Moon tells this story in the form of three films mashed together: A haranguing lecture, A romance novel, and a softcore porn film.
The haranguing lecture is easily the worst part. The actresses are all amateur and read their overwrought screeds with a talent that varies from awful, to god awful, to good God make it stop I will join your cult and renounce my evil heterosexual ways awful. The romance novel bits consist of endless shots of sunsets and driftwood on various Oregon beaches while a piano tinkers in the background. Do you remember how seemingly every movie in the early seventies would stop the story outright and go all soft-focus while a folk song played in your ears? Claire of the Moon is kind of like that but without the warbling.
The soft-core sex is what hopefully attracts both enlightened females and straight males to the movie. (I say hopefully because if you came for the acting or the story you are in for a world of hurt.) Our hook up sex partners (sorry romantic leads) are as stated above Trisha Todd who never made an another movie, teaches drama at Grant High in Portland, looks a little like Laura Dern, she is easily the best actress of the bunch, and whose performance (and if I am to completely honest nudity) is the sole reason the film wasn’t rated one out of ten. The other main lead Karen Trumbo has found some roles since Claire, she looks a little like Sigourney Weaver if Sigourney had a breast reduction and a little boy’s haircut, and convincingly plays a butch lesbian.
The sex scene comes in the last ten minutes of the film and it is decent as these things go (though it certainly not worth watching the rest of the film for). It also has a great advantage however of having no dialog and is considerably more enjoyable if you don’t know the characters. In other words, this is the reason God created the fast forward button.