Late Bloomers is a silly, awkward and surprisingly sweet look at two women who fall in love with one another.
Dinah Groshardt is a middle-aged math teacher in a middle-America high school. She’s pretty much the standard “teacher/coach” type, without the intense hatred of high school students one so commonly finds in real high schools. Carly Lumpkin is the school secretary, and married to the history teacher, who is pretty good friends with Dinah. Carly doesn’t like Dinah much, because her husband seems to have more to talk about with Dinah than with her. Dinah tries to be nice to Carly, but is rebuffed cooly.
When Dinah begins to teach Carly how to play basketball, it becomes apparent to us long before it does to them, that they are starting to be attracted to one another. It’s not long before their attraction reaches scorching point.
Once they become lovers, it’s not too far to wanting to move in and live happily ever after – which they attempt to do. When their relationship is discovered, it polarizes the town. Dinah loses her job and Carly apparently returns to her husband…but not for long. In the end, they force the town to deal with them and their relationship by having a very public wedding.
The end was incredibly stupid and pat – everyone who was against the relationship shows up anyway and kids, husband and co-workers all suddenly are okay with it all. But, you know – fine. It’s a romantic comedy, not a realistic slice-of-life or a drama or anything. It’s just a goofy movie about two not particularly sexy people falling in love. (I have to say, though, one of the characters reminded me strongly of a friend, which probably made her cuter to me than maybe to other viewers.)
What absolutely makes the move work – and far exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations – was how horribly sincere and awkward the characters of Dinah and Carly are. Dinah’s marginal social skills are so cringe-making at the beginning of the movie that she feels *real* instantly. Later, as they find themselves attracted to one another, there is another realistically awkward scene, as each in their own home, they appraise their very middle-aged bodies in their bathroom mirrors. Again, so real, that I didn’t have to suspend disbelief at all.
The emphasis here is on romance and self-discovery, but the bed scenes were just about right for this movie. No punches pulled, but nothing explicit.
If this was a movie about two teenagers, it would have been just another coming out flick. And really, it *is* just another coming out flick, because there are plenty of one woman in straight relationship x one lesbian falling in love movies out there. But a harmless and entertaining example of the breed.
Cinematography – 8
Characters – so painful they were good – 7
Story – 5
Yuri – 10
Service – not lesbian porn by any stretch of the imagination – 1
Late Bloomers was the goopy, soppy sentimental kind of cute. Not really a movie to have a bunch of people over to watch, I don’t think. This is a home alone, curled up on the couch with ice cream, type movie. Perfect for days when you’re under the weather.