Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Minor lesbian content
Short Take: Bisexual Drew Barrymore and lesbian Sara Gilbert appear in this teen thriller.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1992
Duration: 90 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: R
Director: Katt Shea
Writer: Melissa Goddard, Andy Ruben
Starring: Sara Gilbert, Drew Barrymore, Tom Skerritt, Cheryl Ladd

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Poison IvyYoung stars Drew Barrymore (Boys on the Side) and Sara Gilbert (real life lesbian and Roseanne’s tv daughter) appear in this teen thriller. As the film opens, Sylvie (Gilbert), who describes herself as the ‘politically environmentally correct feminist poetry reading type,’ is watching Ivy (Barrymore) move through the air on a rope swing. As she sketches her and muses on Ivy’s lips, Sylvie debates with herself on whether or not she is a lesbian, even though she told her mother she was just for shock value.

The trashy Ivy befriends the nerdy Sylvie, and Ivy moves in with her family. At one point they share a kiss, making Sylvie very nervous. But Ivy is up to no good, purposefully taking over Sylvie’s life, seducing her dad (Tom Skerritt) and involved in her mother’s (Cheryl Ladd) death. You never know quite what Ivy is going to do or what her motivations are.

What makes this film different from other bad girl movies is the presence of brilliant performances from Barrymore and Gilbert, in addition to Skerritt and Ladd. The lesbian content is small, and this is in fact considered a het erotic thriller. The plot is minimal and a bit ridiculous at points, but Barrymore is incredibly sensual. Sylvie spends much of her time just watching Ivy, and the film does the same. Sylvie is also a great ‘regular girl’ character. (AB)