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Julie Johnson
Julie Johnson
Actors: Lili Taylor, Courtney Love, Noah Emmerich, Mischa Barton, Bill Golodner
Director: Bob Gosse
Genres: Drama
UR     2006     1hr 34min

Lili Taylor and Courtney Love star in this stunning portrait of a pair of stifled New Jersey housewives who become lovers. The film also features the late Spalding Gray and Mischa Barton (Lost and Delirious and "The O.C.")


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Movie Details

Actors: Lili Taylor, Courtney Love, Noah Emmerich, Mischa Barton, Bill Golodner
Director: Bob Gosse
Creators: Bob Gosse, Donald C. Carter, Keith Abell, Larry Meistrich, Ray Angelic, Steve Carlis, Wendy Hammond
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance
Studio: Liberation Ent
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/23/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Terrific Story About Love and Personal Growth
O. Brown | Twopeas, WA | 07/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

I really enjoyed this movie for a variety of reasons. It was entertaining and fun, and the subject matter was also interesting to me, since I love both personal growth and intellectual learning. The plot of "Julie Johnson" centers around two women who leave difficult marriages, move in together, develop romantic feelings for each other, and around the effects of their decisions upon each other, their friends, and their children. Julie returns to school and discovers many things about herself that she missed out on since she had not ever graduated from high school and had always thought of herself as stupid, an opinion reinforced regularly by her brutish husband.

I was unsure if I would enjoy this movie, as I do not necessarily enjoy lesbian love stories, finding them generally caught up in the message of the acceptance of homosexuality more than a great plot, acting, directing, etc.

This movie is not like that; it is more about the awakening of a woman's potential at mid-age. It is about how when we grow personally, we can leave people behind, even people we dearly love. It is about the lines drawn between friendship and romantic love---how do we draw them and when? It is about how we decide to call the end to a romantic relationship. When we are adults and change dramatically, discovering something new about ourselves that revolutionizes our lives, how does this affect those around us? In this movie, for the main character Julie, it was not lesbianism that she discovered that mainly transformed her life, but a love for learning. When you are an adult and a life-long learner how do you cope in our society, which oftentimes tells you that this is "weird" behavior? (This last question is my favorite of all, and I related to this movie a lot, as often people who love to learn, study, and discuss ideas (like me) find themselves the targets of prejudice as being dull, boring, and "no fun".) All of these questions are explored in this story of two blue-collar lower middle-class homemakers and the challenges they face.

The lesbian lovemaking scenes are not explicit, they are in good taste, and they made sense within the context of the movie.

The actors in this movie are fabulous---Lili Taylor, Courtney Love, and the actors playing the children as well.

I did not think the movie was clichéd at all. The husbands were stereotyped and seemed in many ways like Neanderthals...but there were also men portrayed in positive ways, such as Julie's major professor. This is not an anti-male film.

Lovely, quality, unforgettable film.
This Film Deserved a Theatrical Release - An Unexpected Surp
C. Clay | St Paul Minnesota | 06/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wow - what an excellent film! Great acting, directing and story. Sort of "Rainman meets Hoboken housewife meets lesbian love affair". I must admit, I was very leery of watching this, fearing it was going to be a Lesbian Love Story. I must admit, I am not a fan of the L-Word, bit I loved Queer As Folk.

I watched this because I had a copy of the movie, having done a DVD Release Party at the club I work at. Otherwise, it would have been very unlikely that I would have ever watched it. That said, I am very glad I did.

The 90 minute film packs a lot of punch, and the first 30 minutes zoom by, setting the storyline for the rest of the film, so watch carefully. Lili Taylor and Courtney Love, the leading ladies are both excellent in their roles as relatively unhappy Hoboken NJ housewives. Julie (played by Taylor) embarks on a mission to get her GED, against her husbands wishes. She eventually kicks him out.

Claire (played by Love), her best friend from High School, leaves her husband. With no place to go, Claire moves in with Julie and her 2 children. In the meantime, Julie begins her quest for knowledge, passing her GED and eventually turning her goals towards a college degree.

Notice, we still don't have much of a love story, do we? Midway through the film, that all changes - in a compassionate, yet confusing manner. Without giving away the entire story line (which includes a few very funny scenes amongst most of the drama), two women must come to terms with their feelings, for each other, and for themselves.

This is really a gem of a film, and (as I have said before), it is a shame this will not be seen by many --- some whom desperately need to see a story like this. If Brokeback Mountain and Transamerica can make the big screen, well then so should Julie Johnson. This is not a lesbian love story, this IS a story about relationships, and the journey most of us take to achieve happiness and love in our own lives.

Buy, rent or see Julie Johnson."
Magnolia 12883 | Oregon City, OR USA | 05/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw Bob Gosse's "Julie Johnson" at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. Five years have passed, and it's coming to DVD in the next couple weeks! This is a very slight but effective film about a young New Jersey housewife (the illuminescent Lili Taylor) who endures a very repressive marriage to a testosterone-driven jerk (Noah Emmerich). When she sees classes at the local community college which capture her fancy, she decides to set out on a journey to better her life. This also involves discovering a sexual attraction to her best friend (Courtney Love, great actress and musician extraordinaire!).

The film features the late Spalding Gray as her teacher, and THE OC's Mischa Barton (don't remember her from 5 years ago!). It's a heartwarming, uplifting and emotionally charged tale of following ones dreams in the face of adversity and judgement. This is a brilliant film!"
Great story about a courageous woman...
Iryshkidd | California | 02/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The story takes place in a middle class world of friends and family with average intelligence and no college educations among them. The main character (Julie) breaks out and away by moving into the academic world and her intellect becomes apparent. Resentment and alienation follows (especially from her blue collar husband). When her "attraction" to her best friend emerges, and they both act on their feelings, the alienation from their friends and families for both of them deepens; Julie handles it, the best friend can't. I wish the audience had been a little more "let in" all along on how Julie was feeling about her friend. The story involving everyone around them and how it effects them all is compelling; you stay interested in all of the characters. Interesting choice in Courtney Love, but she really pulls this off well. Lili Taylor is always great to watch, I LOVED her as a lesbian; very believable!"