I'm never quite happy with films that explore a lesbian liaison by setting up one of the participants as frustrated by bad relationships with jerkball men. It doesn't have to be that way. In this case it's Kyoko, but she has the personality of being frustrated by more than her bad boyfriends. She's a bit frustrated with herself and is trying to find a comfortable compromise between photography as art and photography as commerce. She's idealistic and a bit peculiar. When she meets Miho, who is angry about her father who left her family years ago and hasn't been in contact since, she meets someone who's more bummed out with life than she is so she's able to feel a little bit better about herself, and seems genuinely interested in, listening to Miho's stories. It's not unusual to become attracted to someone that makes you feel better about yourself.
Miho agrees to pose nude for Kyoko partly, well, mostly, as a means of getting back at, and getting the attention of, her father. I'm not sure about that as a method or as a solution but she's hurt and angry and she wants her father's attention. Kyoko and Miho are both presented as empathetic outsiders. Following them is a reasonably enjoyable romp in indie ennui but it doesn't wrap itself up into a grand story.
Girlfriend is part of the Love Collection, a loose series of DV shot features from 2004 with the common theme of love. Other entries include Kihatsusei no onna (A Volatile Woman) by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, OLDK by Masahiro Hara, Nejirin bou by Tadashi Tomioka, Moon and Cherry by Yuki Tanada and Kokoro to karada by Hiroshi Ando.
Director: Ryuichi Hiroki
Starring: Aoba Kawai, Tomorowo Taguchi, Kinuwo Yamada, Kazuhiro Suzuki, Jason Gray, Aya Sugimoto