Murderous Crazy Lesbians in Pools: Breaking The Girls

Have you exhausted every option in your Netflix “Steamy Lesbian Erotic Thriller” queue? Did your DVD player commit technological suicide after playing I Can’t Think Straight for the forty-ninth time this week? Are you convinced that you might actually turn up dead in a swimming pool if you have to marathon The L Word again? Put down that Roku remote, dust off that torrent list, and get ready for Jamie Babbit’s newest feature, Breaking the Girls.

Does the name Jamie Babbit sound familiar? That’s probably because her other two films, Itty Bitty Titty Committee and But I’m A Cheerleader, were movies that your first girlfriend made you watch when she heard that you’d never seen them before. They’re staples of every vegan feminist co-op’s film library, old standards on LOGO’s daytime movie lineup, and if you haven’t seen them, here’s your very own personal recommendation to go check them out now. They’ve got that DIY campy feel that queers can’t seem to enough of, and when I heard Babbit was making a new lesbian film, I was excited to return to the magical world of claymation penis monuments and RuPaul in short-shorts.


I’ve got news for you, queers. Breaking the Girls is not the kind of movie where you are going to see RuPaul in short-shorts. Not unless RuPaul’s corpse is in short-shorts when they find him floating facedown in a SoCal jacuzzi. Breaking the Girls is a gay parade down a very different kind of street. In fact, it’s a gay parade into a pool, and then people shoot some of the people in the pool. There’s a lot of pools in this movie. And people getting shot, but mostly pools.

example of lesbian in pool during pool scene that takes place at pool

example of lesbian in pool during pool scene that takes place at pool

I’ll be real: Since there aren’t that many LGBTQ films out there, period, and since the selection we have is sometimes…lacking in quality and content…I tend to rewatch my favorites. And rewatch them, and rewatch them, and rewatch them. You get the idea. Breaking the Girls just doesn’t have that rewatchable quality to me. For one thing, it’s a thriller with plot twists that rely on you not knowing what in frozen hell is going on. Once you reach the A-Ha! moment, nothing is quite as satisfying – or as gay, but that’s all I can say without spoiling you.

As a special treat, there’s some tropes being recycled here that leave a taste in my mouth that’s all too familiar. You know, that mentally-ill-to-the-point-of-danger-lesbian-character taste? Not dissimilar to the taste of suicidal-rejected-by-straight-girl-lesbian-character, or lesbian-as-a-result-of-abuse-or-assault-or-fucked-up-family-situation-character taste, actually. Breaking the Girls has a little bit of all of these in their palate, and together they’re not terribly easy to swallow.

It’s hard to get around the fact that the only character who is self-identified as a lesbian is also batshit crazy, and she straight up murders people to win the love of her straight crush. That obviously backfires, since everyone knows that we can’t have nice things, even in fictional depictions of lesbianism where, oh, you know, our narratives don’t have to follow conventional stereotypes. Crazy, right? Breaking the Girls is a thriller, though, so even murderous crazy lesbians have more on their plate than meets the eye. Unfortunately, what’s going on below the surface (of the pool HAHA) isn’t really a rallying call for healthy sexuality either. There’s about a hundred tired stereotypes to keep the plot afloat (in the pool HAHAHA), so if you can stand all the daddy issues and straight couple afraid of queer desire, you’ll still have fun.

just being a batshit lesbian next to the pool

just being a batshit murderous lesbian next to the pool

I’ve said it about five times, but I’ll say it again: Breaking the Girls is a thriller, so it’s not meant to fill you with the warm and fuzzies. People are going to die, relationships are going to be dark, and you’re not going to totally get it until the end of the movie. If you’re looking for a lesbian movie to watch while you cuddle your girlfriend (or cat) and think about how wonderful and pretty the world is, this is not your film. If you’re looking for proof that the cute girl you have sex with in a pool is also a nutjob who wants to brutally murder people in your social circle, this is probably your film.

This is a good movie for summer because there’s lots of pool scenes, and you’ll want to go swimming afterwards. There’s actually a sex scene in the pool, even if you later realize that one of two fairly tame lesbian sex scenes in the movie (and don’t worry, there’s a much more graphic sex scene involving straight people) is actually about one of the girls using the other. Depictions of healthy sexuality, where art thou?

did i mention the sex scene is in a pool

did i mention the sex scene is in a pool

This is also a good movie for summer because it’s the kind of movie that you want to see at a theatre with a lot of popcorn and a boob to consensually accidentally touch. You want to eat sno-caps and bump elbows with your crush and share one of those ridiculously oversized sodas that come in limited edition plastic cups. You want to walk her back to your place while you make fun of the predictable plot and have cutesy banter and then, after you kiss her on your staircase, you’ll want to go swimming. In a pool.

You can catch Breaking the Girls at a queer film festival near you, such as my very own philthy city’s Philadelphia QFest on July 12, LA’s Outfest on July 20, and in New York City on July 26. If you’re stuck at home, you can also find it on a bunch of video on demand providers, like iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, PS3, Google Play, and Nook. You could even watch it in your pool.

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Full-time writer, part-time lover, freelancing in fancy cheese and cider.

Kate has written 130 articles for us.


  1. When I saw the title of this post I was initially really excited because I thought Lizz’s Pretty Little Liars recap was early. Turns out there’s a movie that’s also about a murderous lesbian and pools, who knew!?

  2. All the pool jokes are making me think of all the pool jokes that exist in Free! (the swimming anime from Tumblr) and that alone has convinced me to check this movie out.

  3. I’ll probably skip this one. I just want Girltrash on dvd so bad. It’s been 2 years since the trailer came out & no news in terms of release date & distribution. :(

  4. Ooh, I saw the trailer for this and thought it looked terrible, thus I cannot wait to see it!

    I am trying to work out if pool sex is a terrible lesbian film cliché or just a general terrible film cliché?

    Anyway, I liked this review because you did a really amazing job of getting round calling it outright bad. “Doesn’t have rewatchable quality” is particularly good. I feel like this could be repurposed for many situations in life, e.g. “I think we should break up because your whining doesn’t have relistenable quality.”

  5. Ugh. Taking this off my more immediate To-See list. I didn’t realize the blonde was straight. Goddamnit. (Obviously not the only reason I don’t want to watch it, but the tired tropes of psychotic queers is too much now)

  6. Yea I will probably skip it… but on another note the crazy lesbian is Grace from “The Nanny”!

    • That’s what I was going to comment – I saw her and thought, “Hey, the tall stepsister from A Cinderella Story! Gracie from The Nanny!” and now I hear Fran Drescher screeching “Mr. Sheffield!” in my head.

  7. Agreed. Definitely won’t be watching this. There is a significant lack of RuPaul in short-shorts and Clea Duvall wearing anything (or nothing).

  8. Pretty disappointed in Jamie Babbit, the trailer totally looks like it was thought up by a person with no understanding of LGBTQ life.

    I thought it was pretty obvious from the trailer how this would turn out, unless the twist is that there are two lesbians who love each other and live happily ever after.

  9. Yeah, I think I’ll skip it. It’s bad enough that we have to depict lesbians as insane, but even worse that people who have a diagnosable mental illness are too often thought of as dangerous murders. People with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar are actually statistically less likely to commit violent crimes than the general population. I have a schizophrenia spectrum disorder and seeing the world through my lens gives me the opportunity to realize just how discriminatory the public is against people with mental illness. No one realizes media’s depiction of us is hurtful because they all think we’re either in jail or in the psych ward. We’re not fully human according to public.

    Guess what, guys! We have jobs and families and love lives, too. Some of us are even on Autostraddle! Just like small wild animals, we’re probably more afraid of you than you are of us.

  10. Just watched this… Not the best movie I’ve seen. It was very predictable and the “ah-ha” moments were all very drawn out and slow which made them not seem “ah-ha”ish at all. (If that makes any sense…) Basically I don’t recommend watching this… There are other thrillers with lesbian content that are more worth your while. Chloe (with Amanda Seyfried and Julianne Moore) for instance, was pretty good. Anyways yeah…

  11. Well, most people will probably hate me for writing this, but I am entitled to my own opinions! Anyway I thought the movie was pretty “okay”.

    You’re right the over-used cliches really sucked, but most of the viewers (including myself) did not see the entire plot twist coming.

    I’ve never been a harsh movie critic though, usually if there is any type of queer representation in a film I’ll watch it, just so I feel like there is more stuff for us out there. (*sigh*)

    Still, I thought the actresses were very beautiful and now I definitely ship the step-sister (Nina) with Alex. Hell to the yes.

    So while not a great movie, I definitely don’t think it was terrible. Some parts were pretty sexy and the film was overall well-acted. Perhaps it just needed a better script? Or more sexy times between Nina and Alex? Yep that was what was missing. 100%.

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