Why is it that when I watch a rom com with Jennifer Aniston, Katherine Heigel, and Sandra Bullock, nine times out of ten, I could care less who is in love with who or even if anybody ever falls in love with anyone else, yet when I watched the delightful and surprising Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same, I was very much caught up in whether the two heroines, Jane (a somewhat full figured, lonely lesbian) and Zoinx (a bald headed other worldly creature out of a bad 1950’s sci-fi b-movie), would manage to get together by the time the movie was over?
Codependent Lesbian… begins on another planet that is having global warming problems caused not by greenhouse emissions, but by the release of positive emotions (stay with me on this one). These positive emotions leave the body and poke holes in the ozone layer (negative emotions have no effect whatsoever). The planetary counsel has decided that all citizens who fall in love need to be sent to earth so that they can fall in love there and have their heart broken (as always happens to anybody who falls in love on our planet), so that when they return, they will never fall in love again and will not release positive emotions. But problems arise when Jane does not break Zoinx’s heart and true love refuses to go away.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Well, maybe I don’t, but it’s probably something along the line of, “you’ve got to be kidding me.” But no, I’m not. That is the basic plot. The screenplay is based on a play and one can detect the wild, campy, off the rails movement that took place off- and off- off- Broadway starting in the 1960’s and was made famous by the two Charles, Ludlam and Busch, with such plays as The Mystery of Irma Vep, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and other outgrowths of the Theater of the Ridiculous.
The movie itself, written and directed by Madeleine Olnek, is amateurish and obviously a first film, but like such films that formed the rise of indies in the late 1980’s and 90’s (like Sex, Lies and Videotape, Clerks and The Living End), what it lacks in professionalism, it makes up for with wit, cleverness, a need to make lemon out of lemonades and a passion to do something that the filmmaker believes in. The performances by Lisa Haas (as the lonely “plain” Jane) and Susan Ziegler (as Zoinx) are fun and the two actors are quite captivating. It was often filmed geurilla style on the streets and in the restaurants of New York and since it was the Big Apple, none of the passerbys ever thought twice at the odd looking aliens and their even odder goings on. And it’s backed by some of the worse special effects since the films of Ed Wood.
The result is a romantic comedy that puts studio formulaic movies to shame and is the sort of thing one wishes more indie filmmakers would do.