Goldfish Memory

It would be far too simplistic to label Goldfish Memory as Love Actually meets Queer As Folk (US Version) but there are elements of both productions in this movie.

In many ways, this was the movie that “Love Actually” could have been. Unlike “Love Actually” which had too many plotlines going on, this film concentrates on three or four main plotlines and it does them well!

But there are also elements of the US version of “Queer As Folk” with its emphasis on the common experience of gay and lesbian culture and the close friendships that gays and lesbians can experience. Mind you, there are shades of Go Fish when Angie describes the rather incestuous nature of a Dublin lesbian dinner party. Curiously enough, Red doesn’t appear to have any gay male friends.

Actually, the two most rounded, and most interesting characters, were Red (played by Keith McErlean) and Angie (played by Flora Montgomery).

And while I really enjoyed seeing the intimacy of their friendship, I was a little disappointed when the plotline went down a predictable path. Actually, a few of the plotlines went down the predictable path and that’s what I thought was a weakness in this movie.

And because of the predictability, although there are moments of genuine emotion I wasn’t especially “touched” by the movie. I also thought there were moments of great implausability; is everyone in Dublin bisexual, gay or lesbian or at least “on the turn”?

The one straight male in this is Tom (played by Sean Campion, a 40 something university lecturer – who bore a remarkable resemblance to a younger Neil Tennant from The Pet Shop Boys – is the real loser. The movie starts and finishes with his tragic pick uplines about the memories of goldfish and reading Goethe in German (didn’t Mouse like that in Tales Of The City, too?).

Although the version screened in Perth looked like it had been videotaped off television – complete with screen problems! – the scenery of Dublin was terrific and made me want to go back there. I’d forgotten there were so many bridges over the Liffey.

Despite some misgivings, I think it’s a good film. And I can really relate to the film’s central premise that, as far as love is concerned, human beings are just like goldfish which are said to have three-second memories… we forget how hard love can be when we fall in love again.

Anyway, the film comes to a happy ending, so I guess that’s a good thing. Really enjoyable!

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