|The Guest House|
|Directed by||Michael Baumgarten|
|Written by||Michael Baumgarten|
|Produced by||Michael Baumgarten|
|Edited by||Jennifer Barlow|
|Music by||Michael Reola|
|Distributed by||Wolfe Releasing|
The Guest House is a 2012 lesbian romance film written, produced and directed by Michael Baumgarten. It stars Ruth Reynolds and Madeline Merritt as two women who fall in love over a weekend at a Los Angeles guest house. The film has received mixed reviews from critics.
18-year-old Rachel arrives home one morning after staying out all night with her boyfriend Jason. Jason has decided to dump Rachel since they have both just graduated from high school and are going off to college. Rachel goes inside her house and is scolded by her father for coming home so late. Right before he leaves on his business trip, he informs Rachel that a new employee at his company is coming over to stay in their guest house for a few days.
Amy, the new employee, arrives and Rachel shows her around the house and the guest house. Rachel plays a short original instrumental song on the piano and receives praise from Amy. Rachel tells Amy that the guest house used to be her mother’s art studio before she died from cancer. Later that day, as Amy prepares to take a bath, Rachel and she get to know each other, talking about travel and relationships. Rachel reveals that Jason recently dumped her and that she plans to go to college in New York. Later that night, Rachel opens up a bottle of wine for both her and Amy. They talk about love and relationships and Rachel asks Amy if she has ever been in love. Amy admits that she is not even sure what it means to be in love, and she also admits that she’s never been comfortable with men or with anyone. Later that night, Amy walks over to the main house and accidentally sees Rachel masturbating to a lesbian adult film. Amy walks back to the guest house without Rachel noticing.
The next morning, Rachel decides to take Amy out to shop and see the city. They document some of their activities that day on a video camera and talk about their hopes and dreams for their futures. Rachel mentions her desire to make music. While on a Ferris wheel at the beach, Rachel and Amy’s conversations get more personal, and Amy confesses that she thinks Rachel is cute. Amy then mentions that she feels like she and Rachel have become best friends. The girls return home and, having developed a strong connection, make love that night.
The next day, Rachel and Amy spend more time getting to know each other. They make love in the hot tub and afterwards go out to a concert at a small nightclub. The girls then go to a tattoo parlor to get tattoos. Later that night, Rachel gets out of bed, goes to the piano, and plays the same song she played for Amy, but this time with lyrics. Amy walks in and hears part of the performance. She then embraces Rachel.
The next morning, Rachel’s father arrives home early and is shocked to discover her in bed with Amy. To Rachel’s shock, it is revealed that her father and Amy slept with each other. Amy begs for forgiveness, telling Rachel that she didn’t know that there was such a thing as love. Disgusted and heartbroken, Rachel breaks off their relationship.
A few months later, Rachel is performing a show at a small club in San Francisco. Afterwards, she exits and finds Amy waiting outside. The two girls kiss and admit how much they have missed each other. They later walk by the water near Golden Gate Bridge, and Amy tells Rachel she loves her. Rachel tells Amy she loves her too. The two of them kiss and embrace.
Madeline Merritt originally read for the role of Rachel before being cast as Amy. Neither she nor Reynolds had portrayed a lesbian character on screen prior to this film, though Merritt had previously starred in a stage production of Boston Marriage while at university.Reynolds found that their experience on-set mirrored that of their characters, saying, "It was a challenge because we are considered straight, so it was kind of cool to find out how comfortable it was to be with someone of the same gender...even though its something that’s completely new. So aside from our characters, we discovered it in real life as well". The two women became friends during filming. Merritt recalled, "When Ruth and I had callbacks, we read together and we just clicked. The chemistry and connection were just there: it wasn't something we had to work at, we really played well off of each other from the start." Reynolds also relished the opportunity to play a musician.
The Guest House received mixed reviews from critics. Writing for AfterEllen , Danielle Riendeau summed up her review by saying: "Guest House is largely a fun piece of fluff, with attractive leads and a fun premise, but the film is far, far too chatty for its own good. The writing is spotty, with a few clunky lines, and the final third dives far into melodramatic territory." However, she also noted the "fantastic chemistry between Reynolds and Merritt" and found the love scenes "decidedly hot".Dora Mortimer gave the film a negative review for Diva magazine and found that it lacked authenticity, saying: "If you're looking for a lesbian film – hunt elsewhere. This film's only claim to LGBT issues is having two very femmey members of the same sex feign interest in each other. It is written and directed by a man and it shows." Lauren Shiro of Curve magazine was much more positive, saying: "The Guest House is a cute, fun, and highly enjoyable movie. This is a perfect light-hearted, feel good movie for fun weekend entertainment."
Ruth Reynolds won the Rising Star Award at the Melbourne Independent Film Festival for her role in the film.
The Guest House is distributed by Wolfe Releasing in the United States,and by Peccadillo Pictures in the United Kingdom.
Kelly Ann McGillis is an American stage and screen actress. She is known for her film roles such as Rachel Lapp in Witness (1985), for which she received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations; Charlie in Top Gun (1986); Made in Heaven (1987); The House on Carroll Street (1988); and as Kathryn Murphy in The Accused (1988). In her later career, she has starred in horror films such as Stake Land (2010), The Innkeepers (2011), and We Are What We Are (2013).
Rachel Susan Dratch is an American actress, comedian, and writer. After she graduated from Dartmouth College she moved to Chicago to study improvisational theatre at The Second City and ImprovOlympic.
Citizen Ruth is a 1996 American satirical black comedy film directed by Alexander Payne, in his feature film directorial debut, and starring Laura Dern, Swoosie Kurtz, Kelly Preston, Burt Reynolds, Kurtwood Smith, Mary Kay Place, Kenneth Mars, and Tippi Hedren. The film follows a poor, drug-addled, irresponsible pregnant woman who unexpectedly attracts national attention from those involved in the abortion debate.
If These Walls Could Talk 2 is a 2000 television film in the United States, broadcast on HBO. It is a sequel to the 1996 HBO film If These Walls Could Talk, and like the earlier film is a female-centered anthology film, with three separate segments all set in the same house within three different decades in the 20th century. Unlike the earlier film, in which all the stories related to abortion, in this film all the storylines deal with lesbian couples.
Patsy Kelly was an American actress. She is known for her role as the brash, wisecracking sidekick to Thelma Todd in a series of short comedy films produced by Hal Roach in the 1930s. Kelly's career continued after Todd's death in 1935 in similar roles.
Amy Steel Pulitzer is an American film and television actress. She made her acting debut in the comedy film Fat Chance (1981) directed by Manuel Summers. She then gained recognition for her role as aspiring child psychologist Ginny in the Steve Miner-directed horror film Friday the 13th Part 2 (1982). She also had roles in the mystery April Fool's Day (1986), the slapstick Walk Like a Man (1987), the thriller Play Nice (1992), and the anthology Tales of Poe (2014).
Big Brother 3 is the third season of the American reality television series Big Brother. It is based upon the Netherlands series of the same name, which gained notoriety in 1999 and 2000. The series premiered on CBS on July 10, 2002 and lasted for a total of 82 days. The series concluded on September 25, 2002 when Lisa Donahue was crowned the winner, and Danielle Reyes the runner-up. The premise of the series remained similar to the previous season. The series revolved around twelve strangers living in a house together with no communication with the outside world. They were constantly filmed during their time in the house, and were not permitted to communicate with those filming them. One HouseGuest, known as the Head of Household, had the task of nominating two of their fellow HouseGuests for eviction. The Power of Veto could be used to save a nominee. The HouseGuests then voted to evict one of the nominees, with the HouseGuest who received the most votes being evicted from the house. When only two HouseGuests remained, the previously evicted HouseGuests would decide which of them would win the $500,000 grand prize.
Imagine Me & You is a 2005 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Ol Parker, and starring Piper Perabo and Lena Headey with Matthew Goode, Celia Imrie, and Anthony Head. It centers on the relationship between Rachel (Perabo) and Luce (Headey), who meet on Rachel's wedding day.
Amy Greenwood is a fictional character from the Australian soap Neighbours, played by Jacinta Stapleton. She made her first on-screen appearance on 10 July 1997. Amy is characterised as flirtatious and ditzy, especially interested in fashion and gossip. During her original duration in the series, writers created a long-running on/off relationship with Lance Wilkinson. Amy later begins relationship with flight attendant Damien Smith and elopes with him after discovering she is pregnant. Amy departed on 21 March 2000. Five years later, Stapleton reprised her role for the show's 20th anniversary episode in July 2005. She reprised the role again in December 2020 and later re-joined the regular cast. Her final appearance was on 28 July 2022 during the serial's finale.
Amy Lynn Hartzler is an American musician, singer and songwriter. She is the co-founder, lead vocalist, and principal member of the rock band Evanescence. Alongside her contributions with the band, Lee has also participated on other musical projects, including Nightmare Revisited and Muppets: The Green Album, composed the soundtrack to the films War Story (2014) and Indigo Grey: The Passage (2015) with cellist Dave Eggar, and the song "Speak to Me" for the film Voice from the Stone (2017). She has also collaborated with other artists such as Korn, Seether, Bring Me the Horizon, and Lindsey Stirling. A classically–trained pianist, Lee possesses a mezzo-soprano vocal range.
D.E.B.S. is a 2003 American action comedy short film written and directed by Angela Robinson. D.E.B.S. made the film festival circuit including the Sundance Film Festival, L.A. Outfest and New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, receiving a total of seven film festival awards.
Madeline Davis was an American LGBT activist and historian. In 1970 she was a founding member of the Mattachine Society of the Niagara Frontier, the first gay rights organization in Western New York. Davis became the first openly lesbian delegate at a major party national convention, speaking at the 1972 Democratic National Convention. The same year, she taught the first course on lesbianism in the United States, titled "Lesbianism 101" at the University at Buffalo.
Peccadillo Pictures is a UK-based film producer and distributor of art house, gay and lesbian, independent and world cinema. They have provided distribution for many films such as Weekend, Tomboy, XXY, Eyes Wide Open, Four Minutes, The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, Transylvania, Cockles and Muscles, Summer Storm, The Guest House and Chemsex.
Brooke Christa Shields is an American actress and model. She was initially a child model and gained critical acclaim at age 12 for her leading role in Louis Malle's film Pretty Baby (1978). She continued to model into her late teenage years and starred in several dramas in the 1980s, including The Blue Lagoon (1980), and Franco Zeffirelli's Endless Love (1981).
"Pandora" is the fourth episode of the third series of the British teen drama Skins, which first aired on 12 February 2009 on E4 in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. The episode was written by Bryan Elsley and Georgia Lester, and was directed by Simon Massey. The episode focuses on the character of Pandora Moon, who is miserable after her boyfriend, Thomas Tomone, recently returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She holds a small pyjama party for her friends, but it descends into chaos when uninvited guests arrive and the food is spiked with drugs. Pandora and Effy get into an argument after both girls have sex with James Cook, but the argument is interrupted when Thomas unexpectedly returns.
Vanessa Bayer is an American actress and comedian. She is best known for being a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2010 to 2017, which earned her an Emmy nomination. She co-created, co-executive produces, and has the lead role in the Showtime comedy I Love That for You, which is loosely based on her experience as a survivor of childhood leukemia. Bayer also appeared in films such as Trainwreck (2015), Office Christmas Party (2016), Carrie Pilby (2016), Ibiza (2018), and Wander Darkly (2020).
The Favourite is a 2018 period black comedy film co-produced and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, from a screenplay by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. Set in early 18th century Great Britain, the film's plot examines the relationship between cousins Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, and Abigail Masham as they vie to be court favourite of Queen Anne. Principal photography for the British-Irish-American production lasted from March to May 2017 and took place at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire and at Hampton Court Palace.
Disobedience is a 2017 romantic drama film directed by Sebastián Lelio and written by Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Naomi Alderman. The film stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola. Set in North London, it tells the story of a woman who returns to the strict Orthodox Jewish community for her father's funeral after living in New York for many years, having been estranged from her father and ostracised by the community for a reason that becomes clearer as the story unfolds. The film was produced by Weisz, Ed Guiney, and Frida Torresblanco.