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'There are many ways to tell a story, realism is just the most dull.' That, at any rate, is the ethos of the writers of The Love Judge, a TV show set in a California divorce court. Here circus lesbians vie with schizophrenic opera divas and stripper nuns for truth, justice and alimony. The writers' lot seems mundane in comparison, though these maladjusted under-achievers are a colourful group: Mark (Chester) is still grieving for his lover who died a year ago of AIDS, but he's in with a chance for a production job and is besotted with Bill (Arquette). Jeremy (Wilborn) says Bill's a lost cause, and Leslie (Douglas) agrees with him; she prefers Ben, the photocopy repairman. Meanwhile, the boss, Jo (Beat), is incensed to find her new sofa despoiled with sperm stains every morning. While Glatzer's debut boasts a good number of campy, enjoyable scenes (notably 'extracts' from The Love Judge featuring the likes of Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov) and a stand-out performance from Jackie Beat, it's a surprisingly well structured, carefully nuanced affair (taking place over a working week, and, except in the extracts, never leaving the office). A genuinely moving comedy.

Release details

Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Richard Glatzer
Screenwriter: Richard Glatzer
Cast: Craig Chester
Jackie Beat
Illeana Douglas
Alexis Arquette
Carlton Wilborn
Lucy Gutteridge
Paul Bartel
Mary Woronov
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