Vancouver Queer Film Festival 2014: Girl Trash packs it all in

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Girls fights, love triangles, coming out, heartbreak, and sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll—all in one night. Is there anything more a girl could want?

Of course there is but this is what's on offer from the lesbian musical-adventure Girl Trash: All Night Long that packs it all in—with mixed results.

Needless to say, the storyline isn't easily summarized.

You see, the sparky Daisy (Lisa Rieffel) and cool cucumber Tyler (Michelle Lombardo) are rockers that want to win a battle of the bands competition. When Daisy's cloyingly innocent sister Colby (Gabrielle Christian) comes out and declares her desire to hookup with her fantasy girl Misty (Mandy Musgrave), Daisy and Tyler's plans get derailed. Their schemes to help Colby achieve her dream lead to lies begetting lies, as these comedies go.

And Colby wants Misty who wants Tyler who wants Colby but won't go after her because Daisy would kill her if she did so instead she helps Colby try to meet Misty but Misty tries to go after Tyler which makes Colby try to pretend she's with Tyler to make Misty jealous. Got it?

To make things even more complicated, ex-con Monique Shaniqua Jones (Rose Rollins) hunts Tyler down for payment and Daisy pines for her ex who dumped her. Then there's a messy detour into a sorority house.

Musical numbers varies from effective segues, such as an exchange about unrequited love between Misty and Colby at a nightclub, to slow-burners that sap the movie's otherwise steady momentum.

The strength here is the performances by and chemistry between platonic leads Rieffel and Lombardo. Rollins also delivers a charismatic performance as Shaniqua, but the script's employment of ethnic stereotypes do nothing for the narrative or racial progression.

Another problem is that generic Colby fails to undergo any interesting change in spite of all that she experiences.

As with almost all teen- and college-age films, the underlying message is about being true to one's self, rather than trying to get with the in-crowd. The film would benefit from living out, rather than talking about, the message it espouses.

Girl Trash: All Night Long plays at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival closing gala on Sunday (August 24) at 7 p.m. at the Vancouver Playhouse.

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