Itty Bitty Titty Committee
I'll admit, I bought this DVD partially because of the title. When I read the description on the back, I was a little concerned that I wasn't the target audience, as the movie is about a gang of radical feminists who engage in sabotage and defacing of public spaces, but I was pleasantly surprised to find "Itty Bitty Titty Committee" to be a very fun, action packed and thought-provoking movie.
Our main character is Anna (Melonie Diaz), a young and rather timid lesbian who failed to get into college and so is bumming around LA working as a receptionist in a plastic surgery clinic. Her sister is getting married, and because of her own shrinking violet personality, Anna is being ignored by pretty much everyone in her life.
This all changes when one night she catches another woman graffiting the front of the plastic surgery clinic with a message discouraging women from using its services. This is Sadie (Nicole Vicius), who intrigues Anna enough that out shy protagonist decides to do something reckless and find out more about her.
This introduces Anna to Clits in Action, or the C(i)A, as it's called, a radical feminist organization designed to wake up the women of the world and demonstrate the problems with the patriarchy. Besides Sadie, there's frustrated artist Meat (Deak Evgenikos), runaway transboy Aggie (Lauren Mollica), and Shulie (Carly Pope), the ideologue of the group who's the most passionate about fighting the good fight (and amusingly enough, the only one of the group who likes boys). Anna soon gets seduced by the raw energy of the group, and becomes more and more involved with their actions. Along the way she also begins to fall for the extremely sexy Sadie, which is problematic as Sadie, although she flirts right back, is very much in a relationship with the much older Courtney (Melanie Mayron), the leader of a mainstream feminist organization.
This movie in my opinion balanced the various plots fairly well. There's the blossoming relationship between Anna and Sadie, the C(i)A's need to establish its noteriety, and Anna's development as a young woman. Although the romance itself is kind of an afterthought (Sadie got on my nerves after a while, and I began to wish Anna'd hook up with Aggie, who seemed like a better match), the development of Anna's character and the attempts by the C(i)A to get people to pay attention to them both worked well in my opinion. Anna comes out of her shell believably, going from a girl who can't even get the guy who delivers her sandwiches to get her order right to a confident punk who comes up with a stunt to get the C(i)A on the map that is amazing in its sheer audacity. The C(i)A develops as well, starting out as basically a bunch of ideologues who have no idea how to get others to pay attention to them and transforming themselves into a radical feminist force to be reckoned with.
I was surprised and relieved that I was not disturbed by the radical feminist message of the film. The C(i)A is not a bunch of man-haters, instead devoting their time to showing how women are sexualized against their will and forcing others to pay attention to those voices which have been marginalized. The outspoken Shulie is basically the incarnation of this, and while sometimes she annoyed me, more often than not I found myself fascinated by her character. I'm sure if I knew someone like her in real life she'd annoy the crap out of me, but besides that there was a sort of magnetism to her forcefulness.
As I mentioned, Sadie annoyed me a bit, not so much as a character but as a romantic partner for Anna. Sadie is much too weak a character, staying in her nonfunctional relationship with Courtney pretty much because she doesn't have the guts to break it off. About halfway through I figured that Sadie was essentially going to be dropped and replaced with the much more sympathetic and enjoyable Aggie, but sadly she comes back. The issue is that while Anna develops into a strong woman, Sadie does not, at least not on screen, so at the end of the movie we're left with a relationship that seems to have been decided by omnipotent forces outside the story rather than one that grows from within the plot. But that's the only major issue I had with the plot.
A more minor problem is the character of Laurel, played by Jenny Shimizu and basically there so Jenny Shimizu can have a part in this movie. Laurel is in about 2 scenes, is the roommate of Shulie and Meat, and is scornful of the work of the C(i)A, thinking them to be a bunch of lazy theorists who are only allowed to do what they do because of her rent money. She's an interesting enough idea for a character, but she is never fleshed out so we never learn anything else about her besides what I've just outlined above. I think they should have either cut her scenes or expanded on the character. As is she's extraneous to the plot, merely there so the movie can claim to have Jenny Shimizu in it. Genevieve Turner has a slightly more interesting and plot-relevant role that works better at giving a lesbian icon something to actually do in the movie.
All in all, a good and interesting romantic comedy with a mission. I found it funny and moving, and by the end of the movie I wanted to be a member of the C(i)A myself. If you see it for cheap, snap it up if you can, and you won't regret it.
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