You don't have to be a thirtysomething lesbian to appreciate Do I Love You?. But if you are, you might have pondered many of the questions its philosophical heroine asks as she cycles around London trying to make sense of a crumbling relationship. Looking every penny it didn't cost to reach the screen, Lisa Gornick's lo-fi romantic comedy features frank sex talk and sapphic navel-gazing. Give it a go and you may be won over by its honesty, intelligence, and offbeat sense of humour.
From the lesbian photographer and the lesbian therapist to the lesbian student and the lesbian opera singer - not to mention the Guardian journalist who pens columns on lesbian chic - it's hard to dispute one character's observation that "there's quite a bit of it around". For unemployed writer Marina (Gornick), however, being gay is harder than it looks. Painfully aware that her relationship with Romy (Raquel Cassidy) has gone off the boil, she revisits former partners, flirts with heterosexuality, and quizzes her parents in an attempt to discover why it is she "prefers taco to salami".
"SMART, PROVOCATIVE DEBUT"
Not so much a conventional narrative as a patchwork of fragmented scenes and barely related sub-plots, Do I Love You? is clearly a labour of love for its first-time writer-director-star. So it's a pity that it's poorly lit, haphazardly assembled, and - with the notable exception of Teachers regular Cassidy - indifferently acted. It's also a shame Gornick feels the need to demonise men as "violent creeps" with a penchant for road rage and inappropriate sexual advances.
Still, there's no denying this is a smart, provocative debut feature with enough wit and insight to compensate for its inevitable technical deficiencies. If Annie Hall had been made by a bike-riding lesbian Londoner, it might well have turned out something like this.