Julia Readett is privy to a very awkward dinner party: Review of Suicide Kale by Brittany Nichols, a film screening as part of the Mardi Gras film festival:
How would you feel if your monogamous, successful, capital “H” Happy couple friends invited you over to their house for a harmonious dinner and you find a suicide note under their bed?
This is the premise for the hilarious, raw and real comedy Suicide Kale written, directed and produced by Brittany Nichols. A couple who have been dating for three weeks (or was it a month?), Penny (Lindsay Hicks) and Jasmine (Nichols), attend a dinner party at their married friends’ Billie (Jasika Nicole) and Jordan (Brianna Baker) perfect home complete with Etsy-style homeliness and IKEA flip book interior design. Jasmine finds an anonymous suicide note signed “XO,” and freaks out a little before telling her new girlfriend Penny. The newly formed couple then subtly determines who the owner of the note is through the dinner party conversation.
It’s ridiculous and almost insensitive to think how this could be a comedy, especially when you consider LGBT youth and adults have one of the highest rates of suicide in Australia and the US today. This movie is incredibly dark, however, the humour is in the awkward and relatable navigation of friendships and romantic relationships. The newly formed couple worry that they’re becoming “co-dependent,” the married couple argues about their matching, hand-made aprons, and discusses the dog they co-parent with another couple at length.
An anonymous suicide note becomes the catalyst for revealing the sad yet relatable dysfunction and flawed nature of all the characters who feel like four people you could quite easily run into at the pub. One is trapped in a cycle of short relationships which she breaks off before she becomes emotionally committed, another is a sensitive, emotionally vulnerable young teacher who envisages herself marrying all her partners, another is driving herself crazy to make her wife happy while she fails to acknowledge her own feelings and the needs, and the other is a brooding, sarcastic person dissatisfied with her job and perfect life.
This queer indie film is mostly improvised and was shot on a low budget over a series of just a few days. As if you didn’t need any more reasons to see Suicide Kale, this movie makes queer women of colour, their lives, struggles and humour front and center. I can’t wait for you to try Suicide Kale, an acerbic, witty film that explores the ongoing journey of finding your feet in relationships and in your life.