A forbidden love is blossoming at a prim and proper Catholic school -- a love that begins with the letter "L"!!!
A very quiet and basic tale of teacher-on-student love that's told with a rather confused air of sincerity. Seems that if the teacher is a male and his student lover is a female, that's sleazy and unseemly. Both if both the teacher and the student are female, well, then that's bittersweet love and such.
It's all very earnest and competently-mounted, but LOVING ANNABELLE is the textbook definition of "conventional." It's as if the story of a forbidden lesbian love affair is more than enough to fill a movie, but I think the sub-genre would be better served if its filmmakers tried to include more components than just the "gay" angle. If this movie were about a man and a woman, it would be one of the most basic love stories ever lensed -- and I don't think the lesbian angle automatically makes the thing all that fascinating.
Lead actresses Diane Gaidry and Erin Kelly contribute some fine work, and there's some colorful support by actors like Laura Breckinridge and good ol' Kevin McCarthy, but even at 72 minutes in length, LOVING ANNABELLE feels a bit too dry and starchy. Definitely not a bad little movie, but an entirely predictable one all the same.
Writer/director Katherine Brooks and lead actress Erin Kelly provide a fairly charming and informative audio commentary, although it's recommended only to ardent fans of the flick. You'll also find an alternate ending and several deleted scenes (all of which come with optional commentary), a stills slideshow, a bonus short called "Dear Emily," and the 18-minute making-of featurette "The Making of LOVING ANNABELLE," which is full of on-set footage and several cast/crew interviews.
If you're looking for a bare-bones story about girl-on-woman love that goes precisely where you're expecting it to go, you could do worse than LOVING ANNABELLE. For all its obviousness, the flick seems to come from a sincere and heartfelt place, and that's always a good thing. (And yes, you horny jerks, the chicks do get naked and make out.)