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Hey, y'all. Due to my first encounter with the MBTV Videotaping Curse, I ended up with a recording of this HBO TV movie instead of Satan's School for Girls. Sars asked me to provide my thoughts on it anyway, so I was lucky to have some. A friend and colleague at my day job, Jitterbug -- who just happens to be a lesbian -- has added some rebuttal/commentary of her own. Credits. Oh my! The film hasn't even begun before the prayers of the Religious Right are answered and God scratches His fingernails down His blackboard in Heaven to protest. My bad. As if the conservatives have that much clout! It's just Melissa Etheridge "singing." We begin with a little segment I like to call . . . “Vanessa, meet the anvil; anvil, Vanessa.” B&W footage of June Cleaver types accompanied by "Que Sera, Sera (What Will Be, Will Be)." A title reads, "1961." Movie theater. We see a clip of Shirley MacLaine emoting in The Children's Hour. She's confessing her lesbian love for this actress who's a dead ringer for Jennifer Love Hewitt (snicker). Vanessa Redgrave and her girlfriend sit in the audience, holding hands and weeping. Some teens behind them snicker so they unclasp hands guiltily. They walk out onto the street after the movie and head home to the House of Talking Walls, past a HUGE MURAL ADVERTISEMENT featuring a husband and wife with the slogan, "Kiss him goodbye in the morning." Welcome to Semiotics for Dummies. Vanessa chastises her girlfriend for over-exerting herself by lugging the trash to the curb and staying up late to add seed to her birdhouse. From their banter it's established that they're an old married couple in every way except legally. Vanessa lays out her girlfriend's pajamas while she lingers in the backyard. Seems the bird in the house is sitting on some eggs in her nest. Vanessa makes tea and puts out cookies, then tells her girlfriend to come inside and be careful on the ladder. I think we all see where this is going. Cut to the ladder falling in slow motion while a choir sings on the soundtrack. Hospital waiting room. Vanessa sits dejectedly in the corner. A woman comes in, crying and blathering about how her husband just had a heart attack. Vanessa gets up, although she's obviously worried and weary, and comforts this stranger. She gives the woman her handkerchief and holds her hand, because she's a saint. A living saint. What does Vanessa get for her trouble? The woman pooh-poohing the news that Vanessa's "friend" has had a stroke, and an inquiry about Vanessa's husband. Vanessa explains that she's never been married. The woman tells her that she's "lucky" because she'll never know "the heartbreak of losing one." Ouch. That's me taking the anvil blow for Vanessa. The woman is led away to talk to a doctor. Vanessa asks a nurse about her girlfriend, whose name is Abby. She's told that Abby's in intensive care, but only "family" can see her. Vanessa insists on staying, and wants to know about any developments in Abby's condition.