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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Reeling Review #3: See The Foxy Merkins at Chicago's LGBT Film Festival

merkin (noun): an artificial covering of hair for the pubic area.

Or a "toupée for the vagina" as it's described in The Foxy Merkins, the hilarious new film by director Madeleine Olnek, whose 2011 debut feature, Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same, kept me laughing from beginning to end. And now the same can be said for The Foxy Merkins, which I could easily and enjoyably watch again right now. So if that isn't the highest praise one can give a movie, I don't know what is.

Now I know some of my readers might be going "A toupée for the vagina? I don't think so." And all I can say to them is "The Foxy Merkins is one of the funniest films I've seen this year." Written by Olnek and her two leading ladies, Lisa Haas and Jackie Monahan, the movie tells the story of two lesbian hookers, Margaret (Haas) and Jo (Monahan), who pick up wealthy female clients while standing outside the women's clothing store, Talbots. Think of it as a lesbian and highly comedic version of Midnight Cowboy - but no one dies at the end. As for the merkin, actor Alex Karpovsky (HBO's Girls) plays an "erotic accessory" salesman whom Margaret and Jo meet in a cemetery. It's a bizarre encounter (which you can see for yourself in the trailer below), but that's the kind of film this is.

Haas and Monahan are both comic delights, but as much as I giggled at Margaret and Jo's outrageous adventures, these two talented actresses also made me care about these characters and their friendship. So go see The Foxy Merkins. You'll have a great time - but you'll never look at Talbots the same way again.

Show time: 9:15 pm, Friday, September 19, at the Landmark's Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark)
Running time: 82 minutes

For a complete schedule of films at Reeling32: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival (which runs September 18 - 25), go to You can purchase tickets online (click here) or in person at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark) Monday - Friday (and Saturday, September 13) 10:30 am - 6 pm. You can also get the latest festival news by following Reeling on Twitter and Facebook. And click here to read all my Reeling reviews.

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