‘Sweet,’ Yet Sour
Joan Jett DVD vehicle is no “Light of Day”
A hetero romantic comedy with an unexpected lesbian subtext, The Sweet Life poses a love triangle between its trio of characters. Magazine columnist Michael (James Lorinz) is unlucky in love until he meets Lila (Barbara Sicuranza), a pretty but insecure bartender, who is going out with his obnoxious brother, Frankie (Robert Mobley). Frankie and Lila eventually break up, and Michael is there to console her. Lila falls in love with Michael’s nice-guy personality, while he learns there is more to her than meets the eye. Their differing personalities—and that third wheel—challenge the relationship.
The Sweet Life might not sound like a film for lesbians based on this description, but it does feature rock legend Joan Jett, who has been a lesbian lust object for decades. (You may remember Kristen Stewart portrayed her--and her affair with fellow band member Cherie Currie--in the 2010 film The Runaways.) Jett—looking super butch here in a crew cut and leather vest—is painfully miscast as Michael’s heterosexual date, Sherry. That being said, she does an admirable job in the role, and it’s fun to see her dance to her sexy tune “Fetish.” The Sweet Life also has a few amusing lines, and any lesbian can relate to Michael’s difficulty with women. But overall, this low-budget 2003 movie, just released on DVD, is weak on characterization and plot, has a baffling ending and attempts unsuccessfully to ape Woody Allen’s legendary style. Don’t quit your day job, Joan.