11 Aug 2014


Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?

Bound is an erotic thriller with a lesbian hero.

The following analysis may contain spoilers for

BOUND (1996)

"I know what I am, I don't have to have it tattooed on by shoulder." ~Violet.

RULE #1 - A Coming Out Story

Violet (Jennifer Tilly) is the seemingly straight woman in a relationship with a mobster.  She is feminine looking and acts all girly.  However, she isn't the main character and initiates the relationship and has no inner turmoil about her sexuality.  Violet claims that sex with boyfriend Caesar is "work" not sex and that she is a lesbian (not bi-sexual) but doesn't have to flaunt it as she knows what she is.  More than the girl coming out she's the femme-fatal character who uses sex and stories of a loveless marriage to ensnare the main character.

RULE #2 - There May Be T&A

Both main characters get naked, mostly for sex scene.  Caesar, Violet's "boyfriend" does appear nude with a strategically placed towel in one scene.  The T&A in the film is more than a rom com (especially of that era) but less than the average erotic thriller.

RULE #3 - Unsatisfied

Violet is unsatisfied - if she is to be believed - because she is letting her body be used by men when she's really a lesbian.  She is aware of this.  She certainly wants to get away from this life, which leads to her and Corky plotting Ceasar's downfall and the theft of his money.

RULE #4 - Enter the Lesbian

Corky (Gina Gershon) is short-haired masculine dressing, is good with her hand and refers to herself as a dyke.  She is also out as a lesbian.  She's an outsider, has spent time in gaol and drinks beer.  However, rather than the love interest, she is the main character.  Violet refers to Gina's tattoo as wearing her sexually preference on her arm.  Corky works both the lesbian character (in Lesbian Romance) and the main characters in an erotic thriller.

RULE #5 - Just Good Friends

Not applicable - become lovers almost immediately, although Caesar does assume they are just friends after initially thinking Corky was male (which I guess adds to the dyke stereotype.)

RULE #6 - Rejection By Friends and Family

Not applicable.

RULE #7 - Will They, Won't They/On Again, Off Again
Violet initiates sex fairly early on.  Corky says it is a bad idea, but Violet seduces her again. Then they get into rip-off the Mafia mode.  Then tension goes from relationship dramas to will their plan work and will they even survive.

RULE #8 - Redemption/Acceptance

Not applicable.

RULE #9 - Happily Ever After?

In an erotic thriller, the main character usually survives with their life destroyed and everyone else dead or they end up dead and the femme fatale wins and everyone else is dead.  It is rare for the couple to both live and get away happily.  In this film they do.

RULE #10 - No Sequels

No sequels.


  • Rules that are followed in this film:  2, 7, 9, 10.
  • Rules that are partially followed, or not clear, in this film:  1, 3, 4.
  • Rule not applied to this film:  5, 6, 8.
~ DUG.
Remember to do the survey to determine the fourth genre to be tested.
Check out the schedule for upcoming Film Rules films to be reviewed.
Also a question for the comments...  Do people prefer the alternating between 2 sets of rules or would they like to see one set finished before the next starts?

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