Director Jamie Babbit’s (‘Drop Dead Divas’) new Indie movie ‘Breaking the Girls’, an erotic psychothriller in the style of ‘Wild Things’ (1998), made its theatrical debut last Friday evening, August 2, at the Arena Cinema in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Special treat after the screening was an exclusive Q & A session with the movie’s two leading actresses, Madeline Zima (‘Californication’) and Agnes Bruckner (‘The Woods’, ‘Blood & Chocolate’), who openly talked about their lesbian sex scenes in the movie, their favorite roles and their every-day lives.
‘Breaking the Girls’ is inspired by Patricia Highsmith's 1950 novel ‘Strangers on a Train’ and the corresponding Hitchcock movie of the same title. It features wealthy, mysterious and easygoing lesbian Alex (Zima) befriending fellow law student Sara (Bruckner) – a rather unpretentious, introvert, and hard-working young woman with financial struggles. Instantly drawn to Alex’s playful lifestyle and alluring charm, Sara gladly moves in with her new BFF after losing her job, her scholarship and her apartment.
As the two women get closer and a sexual relationship evolves between them, Alex proposes a deadly deal: How much easier would life be if they killed each other’s enemies? Alex would take care of Brooke (Shanna Collins), who pulled the strings to have Sara’s scholarship revoked and get her fired, because Brooke’s boyfriend Eric (Shawn Ashmore) has been flirting with Sara. In return, Sara would kill Alex’s mischievous step-mom who slowly estranges Alex’s multimillion dollar dad from her.
What Sara shrugs off as a morbid joke is dead serious for Alex who does not hesitate to suit the action to the word – but not without collecting crucial evidence from the crime scene which could easily get Sara arrested for murder. When she blackmails shattered Sara to deliver her part of the pact, Sara realizes she has been used and has to figure out her own plan to fight back.
What follows now, are some admittedly hard-to-believe plot developments with multiple turns, - some more predictable than others – to keep you wondering who is actually betraying who in this cat and mouse game. However, the twists might be just one too many in a movie with a total running time of 83 minutes, and ultimately lead to a not truly convincing ending. Nevertheless, ‘Breaking the Girls’ is intriguingly entertaining – mainly due to Zima’s saucy performance, which is quite refreshing and makes the other cast members fall rather flat.
Equally refreshing was the Q&A session with Zima and Bruckner after the screening, in which both showed that they are very down-to-earth women with a good sense of humor, who really love what they do. Nonchalant Zima displayed her comical talent by telling jokes and impressed with her genuineness and cheerful attitude.
When asked how she managed to play this sexually outgoing lesbian, Zima explained that it was actually easy with mostly women working on set and her colleagues, especially Bruckner, being such kind, easygoing women. Furthermore, she has known Bruckner for more than a decade, constantly meets her at auditions and therefore felt really comfortable shooting with her.
”For me it was actually the fourth time to take on a role of a lesbian character. I wonder why that is,” joked Zima with a twinkle in her eye. “Probably because I currently don’t have a boyfriend” she continued and laughed.
While Zima, who has been acting since she was 24 months old, is generally most comfortable in TV productions, Bruckner likes to play strong female characters, but has always been casted as the “nice girl from next door” – until she played Anna Nicole Smith in a production for Lifetime, which according to Bruckner herself was her biggest challenge so far.
Throughout the interview, Bruckner and Zima seemed very much at ease with each other, and even though ‘Breaking The Girls’ was shot in only 18 days and therefore kept a tight schedule, both women apparently had a lot of fun shooting it.
Well, so had I watching it.
‘Breaking the Girls’ is out on VOD and playing daily at Arena Cinema in Hollywood until August 8, 2013. Click here for showtimes and advance tickets.
Check out the official trailer here.
A Production of Myriad Pictures, Tapestry Films.
Cast: Agnes Bruckner, Madeline Zima, Shawn Ashmore, Kate Levering, Shanna Colins, Sam Anderson
Director: Jamie Babbit
Screenwriters: Mark Distefano, Guinevere Turner