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Cape Desire

[whitespace] Carol Monda
Wistful Thinking: Carol Monda dreams of getting out of town until she meets Joy Kelly in 'Out of Season.'

Two women find each other 'Out of Season'

By Michelle Goldberg

AS THIS SWEET LESBIAN ROMANCE begins, a tough, cocky and restless city girl, Micki (Carol Monda), arrives in the tiny beach town of Cape May to take care of her dying uncle. From the moment Micki first sees the gorgeous Roberta (Joy Kelly), an ex­Air Force officer and a cook at the local diner, we know that they're going to fall in love, even though Micki's brusque sarcasm initially alienates everyone she meets. The key to their relationship is Micki's kindly uncle, a close friend of Roberta's, who subtly schemes to bring the two lonely women together.

The story line is hackneyed, but Out of Season has its charms, not the least of which is the bleached-out melancholy of the autumnal town. As Roberta, Kelly glows with restrained, world-weary dignity and hard-won peace, and it's obvious why she's in no hurry to give her heart to a woman who makes it clear that she's counting the seconds until she can get out of town. Carol Monda has the more difficult role, because Micki, a photographer, is gruff and often insensitive. She arrives to nurse her uncle begrudgingly, and she makes sure he knows how much she resents being there. In fact, director Jeanette L. Buck is only able to show us Micki's good side indirectly, both through a gaggle of her friends who come to visit (if they like her so much, she must have good qualities), and through her plaintive photographs. Her uncle, meanwhile, is the kind of eccentric saint that small towns in earnest independent films are always full of.

If Out of Season were a heterosexual romance, the sappy inevitability of the plot would be grating. The film has the same structure as any number of opposites-attract romantic comedies--Roberta and Micki meet, fight, start to get romantic, fight some more and then fall in love for real. Nevertheless, Kelly and Monda are so good at quietly portraying these weathered, guarded women's passions and vulnerabilities that they lift the story above genre conventions.


'Out of Season' (Unrated; 98 min.), directed by Jeanette L. Buck, written by Kim McNabb, photographed by Ed Talavera and starring Carol Monda and Joy Kelly, opens Friday at the Towne Theater in San Jose.

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From the August 5-11, 1999 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 1999 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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