Starring – Margherita Buy, Sabrina Ferilli
Directed by Maria Sole Sognazzi
It’s happened again.
I didn’t mean for it to happen.
I’ve fallen in love with another pretty lady on my TV.
Don’t worry, my wife knows all about it.
In fact, sometimes it’s my wife that has to tell me when I do this falling.
Ok, basically all the time my wife has to tell me when I’ve done this falling. If she doesn’t, then normally it takes me months and months, or really more likely, years and years for me to figure out what has happened to me, which usually involves my brain asking a lot of questions like…
Why do I need to see this movie with the pretty lady in it over and over again?
Why do I watch movies with the pretty lady that I’m not even interested in watching, just because said pretty lady is in it?
Why do I watch programs with the pretty lady in it and fast forward through all of the scenes she’s not in?
These are the questions that swim in my head for years and years when I fall in love with a pretty lady on my TV.
Why do I need to watch this pretty lady on my TV??!!!
You see, even after knowing for almost 20 years now that I am most definitely, without a doubt gay, gay, gay, gay, GAY; I still wrestle with this awful monkey on back, aka, internal homophobia. I see a pretty lady on my TV, I fall in love, and then I completely and utterly deny this love because there is still a part of my brain that tells me that a lady loving another lady is wrong and gross and if that pretty lady ever found out that I was in love with her, she would be totally and completely and utterly disgusted at utterly gross and completely disgusting me. And then after years of this denial when I do finally admit to myself that I do indeed love a pretty lady on my TV, then it’s almost like I need special written permission from them to tell me it’s okay for me to do this loving, because I don’t want to love a pretty lady who thinks that I’m gross and weird and worst of all, intrusive for loving them. So since I never ask for their permission (because that would indeed be weird), I decide that it must not be right for me to love them and so I find myself denying this love even after I have figured it out…
Oh, no, I think I’m remembering that I love that pretty lady on my TV…
So, I’m just going to do a Scarlett O’Hara here and think about this another day, aka, deny, deny, deny…
Isn’t internal homophobia just awful?
I sure think it is.
But I think I might be conquering this internal homophobia of mine, or at least conquering it a little because for the first time in my life, I have fallen in love with a pretty lady on my TV and not only did my wife NOT have to tell me what was happening to me, but it didn’t take me years and years on my own to figure it out as well, and I’m not even concerned about getting special written permission from this particular pretty lady on my TV that it is indeed okay for me to love her from afar. In fact, it only took me about 10 minutes into this wonderful gem of an Italian film, Me, Myself and Her, for me to realize that I had fallen in love, and the name of the pretty lady I fell in love with is…
Isn’t that a pretty name?
And she looks great in leather pants!
And she looks great in a leather jacket too!
Oh how I love me a lady in leather.
I think it has something to do with being from the MTV generation, since there was a plethora of ladies in leather on my TV when I was growing up.
And what made this realization even more shocking and quite an accomplishment for me to figure this out not only myself, but so quickly, is that she’s not even the hot blonde in the movie, which my heart normally falls for, so I say, that is some progress for me! So go me!
Normally, when I sit down to watch my TV and I fall in love with a pretty lady while doing this innocent TV watching, it is my wife who has to tell me why I keep watching the same show or same movie over and over again. The last time it happened was late last year. I was obsessively watching The Crown. (Ok, so I’m obsessively watching The Crown this year too and why in the hell is December 8th not here yet because I NEED Season 2 of The Crown, dammit!). So anyway, I was watching Season 1 of The Crown for the millionth time when my wife said to me during this particular viewing, “I know why you watch this show so much.” I turned to her and said, “Of course you do! Because this is like the best show ever! It’s so majestic, yet so intimate. You get an inside look into what it’s like to be a modern day royal and thank God we’re not royal because they have absolutely no privacy whatsoever. And the music is so wonderful and I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack. And the way they use the camera, this is a show that was meant for the big screen, not the small screen! And it’s got John Lithgow AND Claire Foy. So it’s like basically the best show ever!” My wife nodded her head in agreement because even though she usually doesn’t watch TV, even she got hooked on The Crown, and then she said to me, “That’s true. But you also watch it all the time because you love the lady who plays Princess Margaret.” And I looked at my wife and then I looked at my TV, which had Princess Margaret on it, of course, and I suddenly realized my wife was right. I was in love with the lady who plays Princess Margaret. How in the hell did I, once again, NOT know this?! I looked back at my wife and I said, “How do you always know when I’ve fallen for a pretty lady on my TV when I never know it?” And she replied, “Because you have this unwavering focus and dreamy look in your eyes when you are looking at a pretty lady you love on the TV that says, ‘You’re pretty. I like you. Look at that ass!’ And you forget to blink. My eyes actually start to water in sympathy just looking at your unblinking eyes that are so enthralled and taking it all in and in this case, it’s the lady who plays Princess Margaret. Your eyes don’t fucking move from her whenever she’s on the screen and it’s just so adorable. And because you look at me that way too, so I know what that look means.”
Isn’t my wife the sweetest thing ever?! She knows all about my love of other women, and not only does she not mind, but she actually encourages this love I have for other women that aren’t her. She wants me to feel this love because not feeling it will only harm me. She still won’t let me marry Judi Dench, though, so my love of other ladies, my wife only allows to go so far. Oh well. But as I always tell her, “Look at all of these amazing and beautiful and talented women that I love and you are not only in this category with them, but you are at the top of the list!”
And that list now includes Sabrina Ferilli…
And here she is, Sabrina Ferilli. The first woman I’ve ever fallen in love with that not only I admitted to myself without years and years of pain and agony and confusion, but I did it in about the first 10 minutes of me falling, falling, falling…
And apparently, in her real life, Vanessa Kirby is a blonde, so no wonder I fell for her! What the hell is it with me and blondes anyway??! My wife is a natural blonde, so maybe she can figure out this mystery for me too someday?
It shouldn’t be too surprising to me that I fell for an Italian lady in an Italian movie and figured it out so quickly, finally. I’ve always had a viscerally strong attraction to Italy and, most especially, all things ancient Rome. I always wished I was Italian and I even took 3 years of Latin in high school just so I could be closer to my ancient Rome. My family has many different nationalities in our genetic pool – English, Scottish, Irish, German, French, Spanish and the part of my heritage that I feel the closest connection to, Cherokee; but no Italian, dammit! Sometimes I wonder if this Italian attraction of mine is one reason why I was so drawn to my wife, who has an Italian last name, Naro, except she’s not even technically Italian because her grandfather was adopted. But I was so excited when I found out my wife’s last name was Italian, even if she wasn’t technically Italian herself. I finally had a connection to my people of ancient Rome! And I eventually took my wife’s technically Italian last name, because we were so scared of the lack of legal protection at the time that we decided it was best that we share the same last name in case one of us ended up in the hospital, we could then lie and say we were sisters or cousins or something. People were always assuming we were sisters or cousins or something anyway, because that was much easier for their brains to handle than the fact that we were two women in love with each other. That’s how far we have come in the almost 20 years since I’ve been with my wife, same sex couples in America can’t be denied access to their spouse in a hospital anymore. But back then, I gave up my English last name, Edgell, and took my wife’s Italian last name instead, and although I miss my last name sometimes, we did what we had to do for love in order to survive it.
And even though things have gotten so much better for us in the LGBT family tree since I first started dating my wife, it is also still so hard to be us and that is what Me, Myself and Her is all about. With all of this progress we have accomplished with all of our blood, sweat and tears and last name changes so we can’t be denied access to our loved ones any longer; we in the LGBT family tree still struggle to accept ourselves and so we wrestle with that awful, pointless, giant pain in the ass internal homophobia, and that is the struggle that the couple in this movie face, one half of them is still struggling with the fact that she is a woman who is in love with another woman.
Federica (Margherita Buy, who is a hot blonde, even though I didn’t fall in love with her) and Marina (that would be the lovely Sabrina Ferilli) have been in a relationship for five years. It’s obvious they love each other and are still quite attracted to each other, but it is also quite obvious that Federica has some serious issues about being a lady that loves other ladies, or at least until 5 years ago, she had never been in love with another lady until Marina. And who can blame Federica for falling for Marina?! I sure did!!! But this time, it wasn’t me struggling with this love of a pretty lady, but Federica instead and I knew exactly what she was thinking the whole movie. I guessed everything that she would do, and I was right because she did them, but my guessing was only accurate because my brain has that damn internal homophobia too and poor Federica seems to have it even worse than me. Poor thing.
Marina and Federica really are just so adorable together. They flirt with each other in the elevator on the way to their apartment. They jokingly bicker over the cat. Federica can’t figure out which remote turns on the TV and keeps turning on the air conditioner instead and it is Marina who has to tell her, “No that’s the AC remote.” My wife is just like Federica, so confused by all my remotes too. So basically, Marina and Federica reminded me a lot of me and my wife with their playful teasing and how cute and sweet they were with one another, and that doesn’t happen often on my TV, so I fell in love with Sabrina Ferilli even more because she gave me that wonderful gift.
And then this man enters the movie. A man with a receding hairline and a beard. Blah! Whatever! I knew what Federica was thinking and what she was going to be doing with this receding hair/bearded man as soon as he entered the scene. But this isn’t yet another movie where the lesbian just suddenly decides to jump into bed with a man, because Federica isn’t a lesbian, she’s bisexual and until she met Marina, I’m pretty sure she had spent her whole life denying the lesbian side of her bisexual self. And that is the visceral power of Sabrina Ferilli and her beauty; she gets still repressing lesbian me to openly love her and a bisexual lady who is in denial about her lesbian half to fall in love with her too. Hot tamales! Is it hot in here or is Sabrina Ferilli attracting not one, but two repressed lesbian ladies in just one movie?!
LOOK! It’s Sabrina Ferilli again!
I needed another picture of her because, DUH!
And because the movie has subtitles and all of those subtitles kept getting in the way of me staring, staring, staring longingly at Sabrina Ferilli! I want the version of this movie without subtitles so they will stop getting in the way of my dreamy eyes.
What I loved about Me, Myself and Her is that the movie explores this new age of denial and self-hatred about being queer. Federica is having a major internal struggle about her feelings for women. She’s probably had this struggle her whole life, but when Marina came into her life, she couldn’t deny the lesbian side of herself any longer, but even admitting to that side with Marina, she still is struggling. Federica still worries people are looking at them. She doesn’t like when Marina calls her honey in public and then tries to feed her food. She doesn’t hold Marina’s hand as they walk out of a movie theater, even though the lesbian couple they went with are holding hands and obviously are not ashamed of their love for each other like Federica is of Marina. Federica doesn’t even see the lesbian subtext in the movie they all went to see, lesbian subtext that I saw when I watched the movie too, so you know Federica is having some lesbian denial issues. She doesn’t like testing out new beds at the store with Marina because the sales guy will KNOW they are a couple. (Although I gotta admit it is definitely weird, weird, WEIRD to do this in real life, testing out a new bed with your wife and all you end up doing is turning on the sales guy. At least the last time we did this, our sales guy was like 70 years old and treated us like a dad would instead of a creepy, seen way too much lesbian porn guy would do.) Federica believes her grown son still has issues with his mom being with a woman and that’s why he hasn’t come over for dinner in two months and hasn’t introduced her to his latest girlfriend. She doesn’t see that he is a 20-something guy that just doesn’t want to have dinner with his mom all the time and he doesn’t want his mom involved with his love life. Federica even has a guy at work who keeps asking her out and she keeps turning him down, but never tells him why and then he reads an article in a magazine about Marina, who used to be an actress, and he tells Federica that he’s sorry, he didn’t know she was in a relationship with a woman. And Federica is furious about this article because now everyone at work knows she’s with a woman. For five years Federica had kept that part of her life secret from her co-workers because she was that ashamed of who she loves, Marina.
And so why not start sleeping with a guy, since Federica likes guys too, and then maybe she won’t be such a lesbian anymore. But by sleeping with a guy, all Federica proves is how much she is in love with Marina, because no matter how hard you try to fight it, deny it, think it will all just go away; when you love someone, you love them. And at the end of the day, all of this denying and guy sleeping got Federica was to the point where she finally understood who she really was, a woman who loves another woman.
And that’s what I got out of this movie too. I watched myself, because in a sense, I’m Federica too (except I’m a lesbian, so no guy has ever tempted me away from that fact once I knew it was a fact). I still feel shame about who I am. I still hesitate when I mention I have a wife to someone new because I’m still afraid of their reaction. I still worry about holding my wife’s hand in public, not just because I still worry about our safety, but the stares still bother me. People don’t scream “FAGGOTS!” or “DYKES!” at us anymore when we hold hands, but still they stare and I can tell by their faces who is turned on by this (men can be so gross) and who is disgusted by this (what is it with straight ladies still finding us so disgusting?!). So I understood Federica’s brain trying to find a solution to her dilemma about herself. Just sleep with the guy, its way easier to be with a guy than deal with your brain and society’s issues over ladies loving on other ladies. But Federica would have missed out on a beautiful love if she had allowed these issues to haunt her any further. Because even though people supposedly hate spoilers, I am going to spoil this film, because it didn’t end in typical lesbian cinema fashion, Federica didn’t run off to be with the man, leaving Marina and her feelings for women behind to live in denial-land forever with a man. Instead, Federica’s relationship with the bearded/receding hair guy only further proved to her that her feelings for Marina were too strong to deny. Federica was in love with Marina.
By the end of the movie, I decided that my love for Sabrina Ferilli and all the other pretty ladies on my TV are too strong to deny as well. I can fight it, deny it, spend years and years wondering why, why, why I love to watch certain pretty ladies on my TV, but at the end of the day, the feelings are still there. They may be hidden, pent up, lost; but they are still there. So I decided to do my best not to live in this loneliness and pain with my love of pretty ladies on my TV any longer. I can no longer use the excuse that I’m married, so I can’t love these pretty ladies because that would be disloyal to my marriage. I got me a wife who actually encourages this love. And I can’t use the excuse that I’m just fascinated by their acting abilities, so that’s why I watch them so much on my TV. In fact, there are no more excuses to deny this love. The only thing left keeping me from doing this is me. And I’m too tired to fight this love I have for pretty ladies on my TV anymore. I’m tired. I’m defeated. And I’m ready to just be me. It took me years and years and years to figure this out, but it all came crashing down on me last week when I watched Me, Myself and Her and saw Sabrina Ferilli on my TV in her leather pants and I fell in love and I just can’t deny my love for ladies any longer, especially if they are in leather pants.
I feel foolish now that at 44 years old I’m just figuring this out that I fall in love with pretty women on my TV and I have my whole life and that’s okay. But I figured it out when it was the right time for me to figure it out. Or as my wife always says of me, “Good things happen to Ali in Ali’s own time.” And she’s right. My time for openly loving pretty ladies on my TV is finally now and I’m going to enjoy this lovely feeling for the rest of my life.
So, thank you to my wife for not only always pointing out my love of pretty ladies on my TV to me, but for encouraging and supporting this love as well. And thank you Sabrina Ferilli for helping me to finally figure this all out. And maybe I should thank your leather pants too? I should have known that it would end up being the love of two Italian ladies that helped me to understand that it’s okay to be a lady who loves pretty ladies after all. 😉 🙂