Dripping with lust layered on so thick that you can practically smell the sex, the lesbian relationship drama Below Her Mouth might be one of the most erotic and emotionally charged tales of attraction that Canada has ever produced. Like most films that focus predominantly on sex and attraction – and there’s probably as much sex as there is dialogue here, which could make some balk at the film’s narrative aims – some of it can be kind of corny, but only the whole Below Her Mouth effectively conveys exactly what it wants to.
Engaged fashion magazine editor Jasmine (Natalie Krill) has grown apart sexually and emotionally from her loving fiancée, and finds a large amount of sexual attraction and attention from commitment-phobic roofer, Dallas (Swedish model Erika Linder, asserting herself well in her first film).
With Below Her Mouth actress turned director April Mullen (breaking out of a genre rut that she recently found herself in) and first time screenwriter Stephanie Fabrizi perfectly capture the early honeymoon days of a relationship where sexual attraction often overrules all other aspects of a healthy partnership.
Made with an all female crew on set, Below Her Mouth carries a unique feminine sensibility that men can’t capture. Fabrizi has created a character piece built entirely around the sexual desires of the leads. It’s a tough sell since not everyone finds the same things sexy, but if viewed as a film that looks at how attraction works, Below Her Mouth holds a lot of interest within its margins. Mullen’s tightly crafted visual sensibilities, the chemistry between Krill and Linder, and Fabrizi’s intimately drawn characters elevate what could have easily fallen into the realm of male infantilism and wish fulfilment into a passionate, sexy, and resoundingly emotional character drama.
It’s just a shame that everything else around the central attraction feels underwhelming. Linder has to tap into an extra degree of charisma since her character remains sometimes frustratingly oblique, while everyone around Jasmine feels like such a drag that there’s no push and pull to her character’s moral struggles. It’s obvious that she should be with Dallas, even if only for a little while, and anything that’s introduced here to the contrary feels forced.
The amount of explicit sexual activity here threatens to be overwhelming at times, but it feels earned and in service of a greater point about sexual awakening. It’s a delicate balance few filmmakers can pull off with any degree of believability, but Mullen and Fabrizi deserve all the kudos in the world for making it feel wholly authentic.