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How Go Fish (1994) Changed the Landscape of Lesbian Cinema - Watch it Free Online

Go Fish (1994): A Groundbreaking Lesbian Comedy

If you are looking for a witty, low-budget, and realistic film that celebrates lesbian culture, you might want to check out Go Fish, a 1994 American drama film written by Guinevere Turner and Rose Troche and directed by Rose Troche. Go Fish is considered one of the pioneers of the New Queer Cinema movement, a term coined by film critic B. Ruby Rich to describe a wave of independent films that explored queer identities and aesthetics in the 1990s. Go Fish was also one of the first films to be sold to a major distributor, Samuel Goldwyn, during the Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered in 1994. The film was released during gay pride month in June 1994 and eventually grossed $2.4 million, proving the marketability of lesbian issues for the film industry.

What is Go Fish about?

Go Fish is a comedy of manners that follows the lives and loves of a group of young lesbians living in Chicago. The film focuses on the budding romance between Max, a college student who has been celibate for ten months, and Ely, a hippieish woman who is in a long-distance relationship with her partner Kate. Along the way, we also meet Max's roommate and college professor Kia, Kia's girlfriend Evy, who has to deal with her homophobic mother, Ely's roommate Daria, who hosts a dinner party where the guests play a revealing game of I Never, and other friends and acquaintances who offer their opinions and advice on love, sex, and relationships.

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The plot summary

The film begins with Max (Guinevere Turner) complaining to her friend Daria (Anastasia Sharp) about her lack of sex life. Daria suggests that Max should go out with Ely (V.S. Brodie), a woman she knows from her women's studies class. Max agrees to give Ely a chance, even though she is not very attracted to her at first sight. Max and Ely go to see a film together, but their date is interrupted by a phone call from Kate (unseen on-screen), Ely's partner who lives in another city. Ely tells Max that she and Kate are sort of broken up, but they still talk regularly.

After the date, Ely decides to cut off all her hair, ending up with a very short butch style. She runs into Max at a bookstore and Max barely recognizes her. They exchange phone numbers and agree to see each other again. Meanwhile, Kia (T. Wendy McMillan) helps Evy (Migdalia Melendez), her girlfriend who works at a hair salon, cope with some family problems. Evy's mother (Jeannie Pejko) kicks her out of the house after finding out that she is gay. Evy moves in with Kia and Max, who welcome her as part of their family.

Ely and Daria throw a dinner party for their friends, including Max, Kia, Evy, and Daria's girlfriend Mimi (Elizabeth Kydd). They play a game of I Never, where they have to drink if they have done something that someone else says they have never done. The game reveals some secrets and tensions among the guests, such as Daria's jealousy of Mimi's ex-girlfriend Nina (Nina Von Voss), Evy's past relationship with Junior (Dave Troche), Kia's brother who is also gay, and Max's attraction to Ely.

After the party, Max and Ely reconnect and make plans to go out again. They end up staying at Ely's place and kissing passionately. However, they are interrupted again by another phone call from Kate, who wants to talk to Ely about their relationship. Ely tells Kate that she is seeing someone else and hangs The next day, Max and Ely meet again and go for a walk. They talk about their feelings and decide to give their relationship a chance. They go back to Ely's place and have sex for the first time. The film ends with a montage of scenes showing the happy couple and their friends celebrating their love and life.

The main characters

Go Fish features a diverse and authentic cast of lesbian characters, each with their own personality, style, and background. Here are some of the main characters and their roles in the film:

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Guinevere Turner

The protagonist of the film, a college student who falls in love with Ely.


V.S. Brodie

The love interest of Max, a hippieish woman who is in a long-distance relationship with Kate.


T. Wendy McMillan

Max's roommate and college professor, who is in a stable relationship with Evy.


Migdalia Melendez

Kia's girlfriend, who works at a hair salon and has to deal with her homophobic mother.


Anastasia Sharp

Ely's roommate and friend, who hosts the dinner party and plays matchmaker for Max and Ely.


Elizabeth Kydd

Daria's girlfriend, who is insecure about Daria's ex-girlfriend Nina.


Nina Von Voss

Daria's ex-girlfriend, who is still friends with Daria and Mimi.


Dave Troche

Kia's brother, who is also gay and has a history with Evy.

Why is Go Fish important?

Go Fish is not only a funny and charming film, but also a significant one in the history of queer cinema and culture. Here are some of the reasons why Go Fish is important:

The production history

Go Fish was made by a group of friends who had little experience or money in filmmaking. The film was shot on 16mm black-and-white film over five weekends in Chicago, with a budget of only $15,000. The filmmakers used their own apartments, clothes, and props as locations and costumes. They also relied on word-of-mouth, flyers, and donations to raise funds and recruit extras for the film. The film was edited on a borrowed editing machine at night, after the filmmakers finished their day jobs. Despite the challenges and limitations, the filmmakers managed to create a film that was honest, original, and engaging.

The reception and impact

Go Fish was well received by critics and audiences alike. The film won several awards at various film festivals, such as the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, and the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at the Sundance Film Festival. The film also received positive reviews from mainstream media outlets, such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Variety.

Go Fish was also influential in shaping the representation and visibility of lesbians in cinema and culture. The film was one of the first to portray lesbians as complex, diverse, and realistic human beings, rather than stereotypes or fantasies. The film also explored issues that were relevant to the lesbian community at the time, such as identity, sexuality, relationships, family, politics, and AIDS. Go Fish inspired many other filmmakers to create films that reflected their own experiences and perspectives as queer people. Some of the films that were influenced by Go Fish include Bound (1996), But I'm a Cheerleader (1999), Saving Face (2004), Imagine Me & You (2005), Pariah (2011), Carol (2015), and Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019).

How to watch Go Fish online for free?

If you are interested in watching Go Fish online for free, you have two options: legal or illegal The legal options

If you want to watch Go Fish online for free without breaking any laws, you have a few options. You can stream the film on Tubi TV or Pluto TV, which are free ad-supported streaming services that offer a variety of movies and shows. You can also stream the film on Flix Premiere, which is a subscription-based service that offers exclusive and original films. Flix Premiere offers a 14-day free trial, so you can watch Go Fish and other films without paying anything. However, you will need to cancel your subscription before the trial ends, or you will be charged $4.99 per month.

Another option is to rent or buy the film from various online platforms, such as Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Redbox, DIRECTV, or Apple TV. The rental price ranges from $3.99 to $5.99, depending on the platform and the quality of the video. The purchase price ranges from $4.99 to $7.99, also depending on the platform and the quality of the video. Renting or buying the film will allow you to watch it anytime and anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection or download it to your device.

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