Jamie (Jacqui Jackson) and Jessie (Jessica London-Shields) are flatmates and best friends who share a close bond, in more ways than one.
Set in Chicago, this quaint rom-com is about the two titular characters, who love to watch shows, get stoned, and meet women. Jamie is a beautiful and popular book store employee who is adored by women and men alike. Jessie is a coffee shop waitress and Jamie’s best friend, and is in love with her. Jamie is moving to New York to pursue her acting dreams, and Jessie is desperately trying to get over her. She goes on a series of disastrous and hilarious blind dates on the advice of her colleague; one an astronomy expert who confesses that her grandfather was in the Nazi Youth (a revelation that we promise is funnier in execution than in description); another who is allergic to grass, and; a very forward older woman. All of these distractions aside, it is Jamie that Jessie cannot live without until someone steals the tyre of her bike.
The film is steeped deep in the traditions of the romantic comedy genre. Yes this is a lesbian movie, but the story of unrequited love being tested by distance and time is one told time and again. The plot, admittedly, sounds like standard practice in modern cinema, but what isn’t expected are the compacted elements of a film musical, somewhere between Little Shop of Horrors, Flight of the Conchords and Avenue Q. From a bizarre song/dance sequence in Jessie’s coffee shop involving bowling shirted regulars and coffee beans, to a vaguely choreographed scene in a theatre where the staff can neither sing nor dance. However, these snippets do little but detract from the film’s main intent. Some of the songs are, quite frankly, dreadful and add nothing but detritus to the storyline, though they are mercifully short and do not generally take away from the overall darlingness of the film.
Charmingly understated performances from the two lead actresses Jackson and London-Shields, make the film what it is, a subtle delight full of erotic tension and sanguine charm. It is a real shame that the director felt the need to insert the somewhat half-hearted attempts at songwriting, but this can be put down to little more than a quirk and, thankfully, overlooked.
This is a feel-good summer film with much to offer, and some classic characters portrayed within it. We defy you to finish watching this film without cracking out a smile. Just do not watch it hoping for toe-tapping show tunes as you may be sorely disappointed!
Jessie & Jamie Are Not Together is available to buy on DVD from Amazon UK.
Featured Image: Jacqui Jackson as Jamie. Photograph: Courtesy of Peccadillo Pictures.