Montreal Film Journal


I love going out, and Montreal is certainly a great city for the nightlife. There’s just something about the city past midnight when you’re grooving in a club, drunk, horny, happy... One starts thinking it would be nice to totally forgo daylife and just party night after night... But then you’ll wake up, hungover, tired, alone, late for work, and you’re looking forward to chilling for a few days. “Saved by the Belles” is about those who don’t come to that conclusion and do keep getting wasted 24/7.

Sheena Hershey (Brian C. Warren) is a big black mama with a thing for sticking Ecstasy up her fat ass, “turning” straight boys and acting like the bitchiest diva. Scarlet (Karen Simpson) is a cyberpunk fag hag who’d like to work on her art if she wasn’t out partying every night, and she can match Sheena bitchy comment for bitchy comment. One crazy night, the Sisters pick up a half naked young man (alternately played by Steven Turpin and Danny Gilmore) on Mont-Royal. He doesn’t know who he is, where he comes from or even whether he’s gay or not! The film is about the Sisters’ attempts to reignite the dude’s memory by taking him all around town, which makes for a nice Montreal travelogue...

But not a particularly good film. There’s a certain thrill to seeing local bars (Café Campus, Sky...) and personalities (clownish drag queens Mado Lamotte and Madame Simone, glam rock band One 976...), but the characters are obnoxious and the mostly improvised dialogue is aimless and idiotic. The amnesia plot feels like an uninspired afterthought, an excuse for a few chunks of contrived drama resolved with a desperately tacked on happy end. Further padding the running time is an unnecessary subplot about a club owner and a call girl’s relationship.

Director Ziad Touma has a way with distorted camera angles and acid-fueled color patterns and the rave music soundtrack is awesome but, while that would have been enough for a kick ass music video, stretched over 90 minutes it grows awfully tedious. Like real-life drunks, Sheena and Scarlett can be amusing but a lot of the time they’re a pain in the ass. We get it, you gals like to party. Now, chill a little?