20 Jan 2016

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - The Monkey's Mask (2000)

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?

The Monkey's Mask (2002) is, like Bound (1996) an erotic thriller with a lesbian hero.

The following analysis may contain spoilers for


A Coming Out Story

"She's pretty, she's bright.  Uh, Christ help me, she's a bit of all right." ~ Jill Fitzpatrick.

Diana Maitland is married and has affairs with other men.  It's not clear if she is bi-sexual or is just using Jill Fitzpatrick.  Diana is involved in encounters between her younger husband, Nick, and the women her is having sex with (watching and possible threesomes.)  Nick claims that sex with Jill causes Diana to "light up."  Initially, Jill asks Diana how many woman she'd slept with (after being asked the same question) leaving just embarassed laughing and no reply.  This may or may not be Diana's first lesbian relationship and she may not be doing it for love, breaking the rule.  Diana isn't even the main character, Jill is.

There May Be T&A

"Come on, she was a nympho.  For sheer sexual rapacity even you Jill, couldn't keep up with that kid." ~ Diana Mitchell.

Multiple sex scenes between Jill and Diana, including full frontal nudity from Susie Porter (Jill).  There also a show at a club by two women with exposed breasts.



"Nick doesn't notice the grey over my ears.  Nick doesn't notice anything." ~ Diana Maitland.

Diana is marriage with the young and now successful lawyer, who she openly sleeps around on and who does the same to her and accepts (and likes) her relationship with Jill.  Diana asks Jill about threesomes with a men, suggesting that she may be using her relationship to keep Nick interested in her.  She is unhappy with her marriage, but seems to want to keep it and shows an interest in a number of men, suggesting she isn't a lesbian unaware of her true calling.


Enter the Lesbian

"Nineteen, I was in the Force.  Babysitting female juveniles. No gun.  Now twenty-one, all muscle, street smart, no education." ~ Jill Fitzpatrick.

Jill Fitzpatrick is the out lesbian, and actually the central character.  She is a private eye stereotype, drinking, smoking and has a scar.  She has the short hair and leather jacket to denote she's a lesbian, but fills the t-shirt she wears underneigh in the ways the male audience likes.  Jill is an outsider (including being a godless ex-Catholic)   She jokes about how bad her local mechanic is, so she may not fit that small part of the stereotype.


Just Good Friends

"She could be a bitch, but she was my best friend." ~ Tianna.

Jill & Diana don't go through this stage.


Rejection By Friends and Family

"The devil quotes scripture for his own purpose, you lesbian filth! ~ Bill McDonald.

Diana doesn't really come out, so no such rejection occurs.  Her friends seem to accept the fact that she sleeps with a lot of people and is manipultive to varying degrees, but they don't seem to hold her lesbian relationship with Jill against her.  Bill McDonald may, but he may not have known.

Prior to the film's start Jill may have had some problems.  It is never stated that Jill was forced out of the police force due to being a lesbian, however, her old boss does throw desparaging names at her and did hit her (bad enough to leave a scar) just before she left the force.  Jill's father seems to still accept Jill.


Will They, Won't They/On Again, Off Again

"Lover's quarrel?  ...You'll get over it." ~ Nick Maitland.

Minor if any "will they, won't they" as they get together pretty quickly after a couple of meetings.

A couple of falling outs but no real "off again"s until they end (for reasons Jill can't understand.)



"Dad... you're incorrigible." ~ Jill Fitzpatrick.

Jill probably achieved some acceptance from her former colleagues for solving the case.  It's unclear how Diana would have ended up, but her threat to sue Jill if she told anyone what she knew (about Nick and her involvement in a death and it's cover-up) would lead to them suing her suggests she expect some social expense to the information that does come to light.


Happily Ever After?

"It was sex play that went wrong."  ~ Jill Fitzpatrick.

Jill and Diana as a couple - certainly not.  They're already broken up because Diana didn't think she needed Jill to cover her tracks anymore.

Diana, probably not.  Jill gave the police evidence that Diana and Nick new Mickey, and a tape of Nick confessing to killing Mickey (possibly accidentally) while Mickey watched (and really enjoyed it).  Presumably there would be fall out from that, and possible links to the murder of Bill McDonald.  Then again, Nick is a lawyer.

Jill will probably live happily - or as happy as she gets - ever after if she can forget Diana.

No murder, death or suicide, but the life of one of the participants (probably not a lesbian) is destroyed.

RULE #10
No Sequels

"No evidence, just the smell of sex and violence.  And pages of Mickey's words." ~ Jill Fitzpatrick.

No sequels.


  • Rules that are followed in this film:  2, 10.
  • Rules that are partially followed, or not clear, in this film:  3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9.
  • Rules not followed by the film:  1, 5.
~ DUG.

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