Coming out films are often stories filled with struggle and pain. The writers and directors generally fill the hearts and minds of their audiences with some of the trauma that a person who’s in love with the same sex oftentimes goes through. This isn’t the case with ‘Lez Bomb.’ This is a comedic take on how Lauren, played by the writer/director herself, Jenna Laurenzo, marches up that hill with a family who simply won’t listen. She’s nervous. She’s scared. However, she also feels confident enough in their acceptance that she chooses Thanksgiving to tell them the big news. Maybe she figures the tryptophan will relax them enough. If that doesn’t work, there’s plenty of wine.
On Thanksgiving morning, before other arrivals, Lauren finds a moment alone with her mother, Rose (O’Connell), to tell her who she really is. Rose, playing a caring mother with naïve tendencies, doesn’t really give Rose any reason to fear telling her but she’s simply too busy to give her daughter any of her attention. She’s running around the kitchen like a chicken with its head cut off. Very much like a television sitcom, this scene along with many others following, felt contrived. Lauren finds out that her parents have been looking at her social media accounts and have short-sightedly mistaken a friendship with her male roommate, Austin (Brandon Micheal Hall), as the relationship she’s trying to hide. They also believe she’s pregnant. Even though Lauren is an adult and they like Austin, this suddenly becomes a problem, one of which her father, George (Pollak), threatens Austin’s life unless he officially brings the relationship to light. As the movie continues, what is revealed isn’t what poor Lauren is trying so desperately to shed light on, but instead how insane her family is. They stumble over one another, refusing to hear the other and throughout the film, and sabotage what Lauren wants to accomplish.
There are funny moments; you’ll laugh and you can thank Bruce Dern, who plays Lauren’s grandpa, and Cloris Leachman, who plays Josephine, for a lot of that. However, for the most part, the comedy feels less instinctive than forced and strained rather than composed. In ‘Lez Bomb,’ we have a comedy but often a comedy of errors. A woman is desperately trying to come out to her parents and is stopped at every turn. She tries over and over to inform them that the friend she has with her means much more to her than they realize and as she quietly takes it, you want to be her voice. It’s frustrating to watch. I wanted to like it more but I thought the characters were weak and some of the situations they were put in too sophomoric to accept.
*Opens Friday, November 9 In Theatres and on VOD
In Phoenix at AMC Arizona Center 24