38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2000
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
"If These Walls Could Talk 2" is one of the best, if not the best, film that touched on so many important issues that effect the every day lives of lesbians each and every day. Each episode was so well written, cast, acted and directed that I never tire of watching the film again and again. The first episode with Vanessa Redgrave was so heartwrenching to those of us in the gay community who know how few rights we have under the laws that are inherent to the heterosexual community. Yet by the same token it sent such an important message to the heterosexual community of the basic human and legal rights that gays are denied by not being allowed to marry. Not having grown up in the 60's, the second episode was eye opening to me from a generational standpoint, yet no matter what the era, the message about stereotyping and exclusion was provocative and it was a reminder to us to be accepting, rather than exclusionary, even within our own gay community. The third episode with Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Stone was outstanding. The dialog was funny and poignant, the acting was superb, the directing was well done and the message came through loud and clear. Love and families know no boundaries of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, generation, etc. As long as people love and care for each other as human beings, eventually the ugliness, hatred, bias, bigotry and discrimination don't matter quite so much. They can all be overcome and we all have the capacity for acceptance and change. It just doesn't get any better than that. And while many of our goals are a long way off and we have many battles to fight, films like "If These Walls Could Talk 2" and the courageous people who make and broadcast them help to bridge that chasm of misunderstanding and bring us all a little closer together as a society.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2002
This HBO movie should have been a theatrical release. There would have been nothing better than to see these characters on the big screen. All the other reviews give you a synopsis of the plot, so I'll talk about what made this film so great.
Each segment had a thoughtful and detailed script, superbly executed by the actors and the directors. Vanessa Redgrave has never been better, as a woman who loses her life partner. But it's the little historical details that caught my attention. Like Vanessa and her partner waklking home from the movies with 3 feet between them, least anyone suspect they are anything more than friends. And before the newphew and family come to the the house she rearranges the bedroom to make it appear like they are nothing more than roomates.
The second segement, with Chloe Sevigny and Michelle Williams seems to be alot of peoples's favorite, and for good reason. These two have remarkable on screen chemistry together. So much of the sexual tension was delivered though looks. When they looked at each other (and they did it quite often) it spoke volumns. The love making scene is so intimate and real there's no response but silence. Again there are couple of little details here which make me like the film even more. When Sevigny's butch character takes off her shirt her breasts are tightly wrapped, a common thing to do in the historical butch community. Also, when William's character tries to undress Sevigny, she gently but firmly takes Williams hands away from her belt twice, and tells Williams to "just relax" letting the audience know that she will be the assertive partner here. That is yet another subtle detail in the sexual history of the butch/fem culture.
And before I move on from this segment I have to comment about how striking Sevigny is as this young butch. I was quite taken by her, and not just by how adorable she looked with her motorcycle jacket and tee-shirts and puppydog blue eyes, although that was definitely a highlight to this film. But after seeing her play sort of a fem opposite Hillay Swank in Boy's Don't Cry, I was impressed by her ability to play the flip side of the coin, with some real sensitivity. She did not take this character over the top, but rather gave us an insightful portrayal of a masculine young woman living on the edge of her own community. My question is, how in the world could she makeout with both Hillary Swank and Michelle Williams, and still not be batting for the other team? Ah well.
As for the last segment, with Ellen Degeneres and Sharon Stone, a lesbian couple trying to have a baby, all I have to say is that I just enjoyed watching this. Some people complain that Ellen was just her character from her former sit-com put in a new situation. My response to that is, so what. That's exactly what makes her so funny. And what a great lesbian fantasy, to have Sharon Stone for your girlfriend, it doesn't get any better that.
With so much going for it, this film will definitley become one of the classics for our culture. I just hope I don't spend too much money wearing out copy after copy after copy.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2000
In a time where America is on the brink of breaking down the walls of segregation of gays and straights comes a movie that provides not only historical educational insight but also an entertaining and beautiful view of delicate and powerful relationships! The first story is the most compelling of the three, Vanessa Redgrave gives a performance for the ages as a woman who loses her lover of fifty years only to endure an inappropriate battle with her dead lovers relatives. Brilliantly executed and directed, it pulls on your heart strings and makes you think just how terribly prejudice people can be for no reason at all. The second story is set in the confusing and often socialogically brutal early 70's featuring a group of lesbians fighting college campus politics. Michelle Williams plays a confused young woman who falls for Chloe Sgveny at the opposition of her fellow lesbian friends. It's not as emotional as the first presentation but it presents a good point on how people take someone too much at face value, losing sight of the soul they were in love with initially. The third segment is kinda fun to watch simply because Sharon Stone is very relaxed with her role. Ellen Degeneres doesn't fit the role she plays but I understand why she was in this. The intensity of the movie fizzles with the last segment unfortunately and doesn't depict as strong of an issue as the first two segments. Overall, considering this movie makes such a bold statement for homosexuals everywhere, it really makes you think a little bit about how future generations will continue to fight and change the way things are for gays and lesbians-making the world a better place for us all.
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2003
I thought "If These Walls Could Talk 2" was great, with the great performances. Thank god for HBO, I've seen it many times on it, and it's sort of a guilty pleasure. I can't help but watch it everytime it comes on. I thought every story was very moving, with the perfect cast to pull it all off. I thought the first segment was very touching, but I couldn't really relate to it, so it was hard to really get into it. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the second and third segments. The second segment with Michelle Williams, Nia Long, and Chloe Sevigny were fantastic. It struck a chord in me, I realized how biased the world can be towards one another. I liked the irony of one lesbian being incredibly ignorant to another, because they weren't "lesbian" enough. It revealed to me how cynical we all can be. I disagree with a lot of the reviews about the third segment, I thought it was great! It was humorous and heart-felt. It is by far, Ellen DeGeneres's best performance. Sharon Stone was so comical, which the enitre movie needed. Ellen and Sharon had great chemistry, in my opinion. The seemed very believable, from the passion towards one-another, to the commitment of trying to conceive. They were a truly loving and commited couple, which I respected very much. I recommend this movie to anyone, lesbian, gay, bi, or straight, it's a terrific movie.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2000
This is a good three-part movie. I think the quality of the segments decline from beginning to end.
The first segment - Vanessa Redgrave stars. It's incredible. It details a lesbian couple in their "golden-ages" during the 60s. It is one heck of a performance by Redgrave, who mourns the death of her loved one.
The second segment looks at a group of feminist lesbians - one of whom (Williams) falls in love with a non-feminist lesbian (Sevigny). This, I believe, is certainly the best acting duo of the trio of segments. These two work well together, and Chloe honestly has the best performance of the movie. Her role, as a "guy dressing" lesbian is absolutely incredible. Michelle Williams is definitely deserving of credit here - for being able to step outside her Dawson's Creek - and play someone else entirely. I must say I was surprised at her doing a nude scene. Not bad or good, just surprised - something that she might have been shooting for (as per Jessica Biel's Gear nude photoshoot).
The final segment is a bit too quick, and honestly unbelievable. I didn't think there was much chemistry there between Degeneres and Stone (who play a lesbian couple in 2000 trying to have a kid.) Degeneres quickly stepped into her "Ellen" role - and Stone seemed arrogant, and slightly aloof. It was definitely the funniest of the three segments, but I enjoyed this the least of the trio.
Overall, the script was very good, and certainly took a good look at what being lesbian has meant throughout the past few decades. Very well acted, very well casted, very well directed, very well written. Great movie.
34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2001
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
If These Walls Could Talk 2 - An HBO Film.
This made for cable film is the second in a series, focusing on the lives of women and a specific issue. The first film, centered on abortion. This film, on women's sexuality. The format is identical, three stories, placed in three specific timeframes.
Vanessa Redgrave won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of an older lesbian in the first segment of this trilogy (taking place in the early 60's).
However, it is not that segment, nor the much over-hyped Sharon Stone/Ellen Degeneres final segment that plays the best.
It is the middle segment, starring a wonderful Michelle Williams ("Dawson's Creek") and Chloe Sevigny ("Boys Don't Cry") who I believe really shine here.
It is this central episode of the trilogy that takes place in the 70's during the feminist movement. It is kind and sweet and rings most true. I was most surprised by Michelle William's here - she did an amazing job. "Dawson's Creek" does not do her justice as she's proven to be an excellent actress. Chloe Sevigny is always fun and interesting to watch, but I think Michelle Williams really steals her scenes and holds her own with this Indie favorite.
Going back to comment on the opening segment where Vanessa Redgrave plays an older lesbian - Watching Venessa Redgrave is always a pleasure and she's wonderful here, as well. Perhaps it's the tone of the opening segment - it so lacks joy.
Regarding the final story - Sharon Stone and Ellen Degeneres on the other hand - they don't fare so well. Specifically, I'm not exactly comfortable with them sitting on the hood of thier car watching children play in a park, repeatedly. This would seem down-right creepy regardless of the gender of the couple.
This third segment is the one that seems the less "real" or true.
I was also very disappointed that the DVD version of this film had no additional footage or special features.
All in all - this film is worth viewing, but I doubt it would be something you'd watch again and again. You're likely to view your favorite segment more than once, but not the entire thing.
My favorite segment, the one I would recommend for re-watching is the middle one.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2001
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
Vanessa Redgrave's portrayal of a bereaved wife who lost her soul mate of 50 years was so moving it was almost tortuous. And very sad. When Vanessa's wife's family came in to check out "their inheritance", I wanted to slap all of them. The way that they discounted and ignored her, touching personal gifts Vanessa had bought for her wife, measuring HER furniture, claiming her property as their own, was ENRAGING. And the scene where the nephew's wife gave Vanessa permission to "keep a knick-knack if she wanted..." sparked almost too much rage for me to bear. If ever there was an argument for the legalization of same-sex marriages, this story was it.
The second story was the most passionate lesbian love story I have even seen. Chloe Sevigny's acting was so tender and precise--her eyes, facial expressions spoke more than she did--I found myself thinking about her character all day at work. And smiling! Also, her character was very moving, the way that she was true to herself even though the whole world, seemingly, rejected her. Like her on-screen girlfriend, I, too would like to be more like her. I watched this story 5 times in one week.
The last segment was okay. It was a departure from the drama of the first two: comic, light..Ellen and her trademark sharp wit. This one moved me least of all, but I did feel Ellen's frustration in not being able to give her wife a baby.
I would definitely recommend.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2001
I absolutely loved this movie!!! I've watched the 2nd and 3rd stories three times. The first I liked but felt it was so sad that I wanted to view it again.
The movie begins with a glowing performance by Vanessa Redgrave. She loses her partner of 50 years. What was sad was that she could not grieve over the loss of the one she loved. She kept her love's secret even in death. Not telling staff at the hospital that she was family. That this was the woman she had spent her life with. Or the wife of a heart attack victim that she too was worried for her partner. She could not tell her "in~laws" that she was their in~law. She paid a wonderful tribute to her partner out of love. She removed any item from the home that would tell others of the love they shared, the life they shared. The ultimate was losing her home, their home to a greedy family.
The second story with Michelle Williams and Chloe is yummy. I actually had never thought that Lesbians discriminated against themselves. It opened my eyes and made me feel for those lesbians in the 70's who were butch. Michelle's school friends are all femme lesbians. They visit a bar where they are face to face with "butch" lesbians. The friends become uncomfortable and choose to leave. Yet Michelle stays behind having been attracted to one particular butch at the bar. I myself am attracted to "butch" lesbians so seeing Chloe's tough girl persona and yet shy disposition was a real turn on. The scene where Chloe visits Michelle's friends and they try and dress her as a girl was very dramatic. As it makes them face their own fears. Michelle's statement to her friends when Chloe runs out, That they don't like anyone not just like them is very poignant. Especially since they are asking to be accepted as lesbians and they themselves can't accept a girl who wants to dress in men's clothing.
The third story is set in the year 2000 where Ellen Degeneres and Sharon Stone want to have a baby. It is the trials and tribulations that they face to have children. For me though, the story of them having a baby was flat. What was strong in the story and worth the time to watch was the relationship between the two. I loved the humor between the two. I loved seeing a Lesbian couple, enjoying life, having fun. I especially LOVED the sex scene between the two. OHHHHHH soooooo SEXXXXXY and SENSUAL....and the close of the movie with the two of them dancing is priceless...
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is so very touching and sad and funny and erotic.. also gives one a historical context for homosexual womyn of a couple periods of time. I adore it, makes me cry and laugh and all the stuff a movie is supposed to do, plus Chloe Sevigny (sp??) makes a really really hot manly butch chick.
My only problem with it is the lack of chemistry between Sharon Stone and Ellen.. the "romance" in their segment is pretty lame, but the rest of the film is excellent. I'm buying it as soon as it is normal movie price and not 80 dollars! For now, rent and enjoy!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
As a hetrosexual female I must say that for a long time I was very close minded about homosexuals. This movie truly opened my eyes on how the same sex can have such a loving bond and the unfair ridicule they are subjected to. You will laugh , cry, and sit in total silence.This story depics three different eras and all ages of lesbians and how living life them as a lesbian is looked upon and how they are treated. From an old couple losing their parner in the 50's to college students coming out and their unacceptance from the community in the 70's to a couple trying to have a child in the 90's.A must see film and an eye opener. Watch Sharron Stone,Chloe Severny, and Vanessa Redgrave.