“All About E”
Finding Money and Running
E is a beautiful sexy Arabic Australian DJ who seems to have it all—she is headlining at a top nightclub, she shares a home with her gay best friend, Matt (Brett Rogers) and has a world of women at her feet. Then when she and Matt stumble on a stash of cash, they hit the road on the run from the crooks in search of a new life and possibly a lost love. The movie is a thriller road movie and a bit of a love story as well. Matt is her husband of convenience and they soon discover that there are no places to run but to the outback where E’s ex-girlfriend, Trish (Julie Billington) lives. Even though Trish broke her heart, E has to learn to face her past; especially if she wants a future. She also knows that she has to give her family the chance of accepting her as she really is and at the same time live her dreams.
Director Louise Wadley’s film is different from other lesbian films in that E is not filled with guilt about her sexuality but a complex heroine who has a lot happening in her life. That she is gay seems to be just a small detail and incidental to the plot.
Although E seems to have everything, we see as the story unfolds that her life is really very complicated. The film opens at a gay-club in Sydney’s King Cross, as DJ E (Mandahla Rose) holds up her set with a casual hook-up in the club’s bathroom. When she finally appears, everyone is ecstatic, and she adores the love from her fans. She is cocky, the kind of girl you might want to slap to calm her down but then when E and Irishman Matt, her best friend, manager and husband (they married to keep him in Australia and as a front for her family) happen upon a drug-ring’s duffle bag of cash, they find themselves on the run and the complications of her seemingly trouble-free life become exposed.
Director Wadley blurs genres and subverts conventions. E and Matt struggle to find a place to hide out, the doors are closed because womanizer E has burnt too many bridges and broken too many hearts. However, we see a different E through flashbacks that show her past relationship with Trish. E is a tender and loving partner, but can’t face telling her migrant Lebanese parents that she’s gay. Her relationship with Trish suffers because of this. Trish refuses to be a part of E’s games to hide her identity. “All About E” puts a lesbian spin on the road movie genre by pairing a Lebanese lesbian with a gay Irish man as they run through Australia.
They’re trying to get away from themselves and the road movie is what forces them to have to look at the different things they’re not dealing with. E has the burden of trying to be the best for her parents. The pressures of excelling as the daughter of immigrant parents is a reality she constantly struggles with. Coming out just doesn’t seem like an option and she feels this very heavy burden of responsibility for her parents’ happiness. This is not just about someone not being brave enough or whatever to come out. It is very complex when we consider that everyone has their own path and way of dealing with coming out. It was too much for Trish and she, for most of the film, is just a sweet memory. E Has more important problems.
We learn that that the bag of cash belongs to Johnny and he’s got his henchmen tracking it down. After E is unsuccessful in trying to convince her exes to shelter her, she thinks it’s a good idea to hide away at her parents’ with Matt. But, of course Johnny figures out her coordinates, but he’s gullible enough to believe E when she says she’s taking the money back to him. With her parent’s safety taken care of, E hits the road again with Matt. With Trish just a highway exit away, she can’t resist visiting but she is not welcomed with open arms. It’s been a year since these two last saw each other and Trish is still hurt. Yet, she agrees to let E and Matt stay at her place for a night or two.
Love like Trish and E shared just doesn’t go away. They can’t resist the pull towards each other, and what results is one of the most sensuous lesbian sex ever. The sex doesn’t mean that their issues are resolved, especially now that Trish has been roped into helping E and Matt escape. No road movie, however, would be complete without a showdown and Johnny eventually catches up to them. What happens next is for you to see when you watch the film.