Available On: DVD and Blu-ray
Director: Lisa Gornick
Reviewer: Susan England
We received free access to this film in exchange for an honest review.
Although some might categorise “The Book of Gabrielle” as a lesbian film, it’s ultimately a film about an artist and writer who stays true to her heart rather than following the advice of others.
Lisa Gornick who stars as Gabrielle, also wrote and directed the film. A genuine Jackie of all trades, Gornick also draws the risqué illustrations for Gabrielle’s sex book called “How to Do it.”
Early in the film, Gabrielle meets erotic writer Saul Bernard (Allen Corduner) at a book signing. Gabrielle, who prefers sex with women, and heterosexual Saul strike up a friendship. Although both are dominate personalities and sexually obsessed, the relationship remains platonic. Perhaps as he is unable to dominate her physically, Saul sets about helping Gabrielle perfect her book, advising her it needs a storyline. Likewise, her publisher originally rejects Gabrielle’s book, as sex no longer sells in a world filled with online porn, and perhaps she should considering adding a bit of sadomasochism to spice up the book.
Gabrielle’s considerably younger partner Olivia (Anna Koval), who is obviously smitten with Gabrielle at the beginning of the film, finds herself side-lined as Gabrielle befriends Saul. I found myself feeling sorry for Olivia, as she is seems to be young and in love. At this stage in her life, the age difference and lack of common interests don’t matter. Gabrielle, on the other hand, is so obsessed with her book and budding friendship with Saul, she doesn’t seem too bothered that she is growing more distant from Olivia.
As a successful erotic writer, Saul has had his share of sexual partners, but for once there is a female in his life who has zero interest in a sexual relationship with him. As a result, he seems to have a true meeting of minds with Gabrielle. He finds her to be just as intelligent as stubborn as he is, which draws him even closer to her. Although he has had numerous sexual conquests, I got the feeling Saul had never experienced real love. Instead, he seems to dump lovers as easily as one puts out the weekly rubbish. He has an icy relationship with his adult daughter as well.
In the end, Gabrielle follows her heart and writes the book of her dreams, and is duly rewarded. The ending seemed a bit rushed and overly optimistic for a film that had been realistic and frank throughout. However, I did find the film amusing and worth a watch for the stunning artwork and frank discussions of the modern sexual landscape.