LGBT cinema isn’t just limited to the U.S. - there’s plenty of options beyond our own borders. Take for example the latest offering from Wolfe Video, Stud Life. The film examines urban London’s LGBT scene through the eyes of JJ (T’Nia Miller) - a “stud” lesbian who works with her best friend, gay pretty boy Seb (Kyle Treslove) as wedding photographers...with some very interesting clientele.
The first minutes get us into the back-and-forth that JJ and Seb have, and it’s that typical friendship. JJ doesn’t need a girlfriend, Seb likes to flirt a bit. Then JJ meets the beautiful and luscious Elle (Robyn Kerr) and JJ comes to a crossroads. Will she choose love and spend more time with Elle? Or will she stay in her ways and continue her life with Seb?
This is a very cute and interesting look into the London LGBT urban scene - particularly the lesbian romance between the very butch JJ and super femme Elle. What I really enjoyed was director Campbell X’s decision to have JJ record little vlog posts that are scattered throughout the film. This is not a lovey-dovey film by any means too - at one point JJ gets jumped and Seb wants to help clean her up. But then JJ calls Elle and everything shifts - both of them want to take care of her.
Normally this would be a very sitcom type scenario, but I really praise the decision for a real-world take on it. There’s still a lot of cute moments between JJ, Elle and Seb - it makes for a good honest look at how friendships sometimes get stuck in the middle when you start a new relationship with someone.
The real meat of the piece comes when we learn what Elle does for a living. (I won’t reveal it, I don’t do spoilers...much.) It’s very raw, very real and a tad surprising for what we know so far about the character.
This film normally wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but the reality of the subject kept my interest. T’Nia Miller drives the piece as JJ, and I wish we could have seen more of Seb, but Robyn Kerr as Elle makes up for that.
My only real complaint is the running time. At 84 minutes we barely start to scratch the surface. We get an abridged version of what is a really honest story - and even 16 more minutes to make it an even hour and a half would have given us so much more. But this being Campbell X’s feature film directorial debut, I can understand why it’s a bit shorter than normal fare.
Stud Life is real life - and that is its great success. It tells a real story, with no filler.
Stud Life releases on all digital formats 2/19. For more information, visit www.wolfevideo.com
By MATT JAMIESON - STAFF WRITER
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