Go Fish (film)

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Go Fish
Film poster
Directed byRose Troche
Written byRose Troche
Guinevere Turner
Produced byRose Troche
Guinevere Turner
StarringGuinevere Turner
V.S. Brodie
CinematographyAnn T. Rossetti
Edited byRose Troche
Music byScott Aldrich
Brendan Dolan
Jennifer Sharpe
Distributed byThe Samuel Goldwyn Company
Release date
  • June 10, 1994 (1994-06-10)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$15,000[1] or $250,000[2]
Box office$2.5 million (US)[3]

Go Fish is a 1994 American drama film written by Guinevere Turner and Rose Troche and directed by Rose Troche.[4] It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994, and was the first film to be sold to a distributor, Samuel Goldwyn, during that event for $450,000.[5] The film was released during Pride Month in June 1994 and eventually grossed $2.5 million. The film was seen as a groundbreaking film that celebrated lesbian culture on all levels, and launched the career of director Troche and Turner.[6] Go Fish is said to have proved the marketability of lesbian issues for the film industry.[5]


Max is a young lesbian college student in Chicago who has gone ten months without having sex. She and her roommate and college professor Kia are in a coffee shop when they run into Ely, a hippieish woman with long braided hair, whom Max initially dismisses. Max and Ely do end up going to a film together. After the film they return to Ely's place and, after some flirtatious conversation, they kiss. Suddenly a call comes in from Ely's (unseen on-screen) partner Kate, with whom Ely has been in a long-distance relationship for more than two years, which puts a bit of a damper on things.

Ely decides to cut off all her hair, ending up with a very short butch style. She runs into Max in a bookstore and Max almost does not recognize her.

Kia's girlfriend Evy returns home. Her ex-boyfriend Junior is there. Evy's mother confronts her, saying that Junior told her that he had spotted Evy at a gay bar. Evy's mother kicks her out and Evy flees to Kia's place and Max invites her to live with them.

Ely and her roommate Daria throw a dinner party and, after a spirited game of I Never, Max and Ely reconnect. They make plans to go out again and then begin kissing. They have several phone conversations, in the course of which Ely reveals that she's "sort of broken up" with Kate. They get together for a second date but they never make it out of the apartment. Max ends up trimming Ely's fingernails. This turns into foreplay and they have sex. Intercut with the closing credits are shots and short scenes of Max and Ely's burgeoning relationship.


  • Guinevere Turner as Camille 'Max' West
  • V.S. Brodie as Ely
  • T. Wendy McMillan as Kia
  • Anastasia Sharp as Daria
  • Migdalia Melendez as Evy
  • Scout as Hairdresser
  • Dave Troche as Junior


Rose Troche and Guinevere Turner read B. Ruby Rich's article "New Queer Cinema" in Sight and Sound and were inspired to contact Christine Vachon for production support.[7] The script was written collaboratively between Troche and Turner and the film took about three years to finish. Prior to writing the film, the pair had worked on projects for ACT UP Chicago. Actors for the film were friends, people spotted around town, or volunteers pulled from open casting calls.[8]


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 75% of 69 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The website's consensus reads: "With sensitive direction from Rose Troche and terrific work from co-writer/star Guinevere Turner, Go Fish plays a winning hand."[9] Variety summarized it as "a fresh, hip comedy about contemporary lifestyles within the lesbian community. Theatrical prospects are excellent for an all-female picture that is sharply observed, visually audacious and full of surprising charms".[10] The Rolling Stone commented that "Troche brings an engagingly light touch to material that ranges from negotiating girl bars to maintaining friendships".[11]

IndieWire ranked it in 5th place on its list of the 15 Greatest Lesbian Movies of All Time.[12]

Rita Kempley of The Washington Post wrote "Go Fish hasn't got an agenda unless it's that girls just gotta have fun".[13] Melissa Pierson of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B+", explaining her reasoning by writing that "In matters of both sex and artistic license, this is a rental to make you say, "Vive la difference"".[14]

Awards and nominations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Warn, Sarah. "Back in the Day: "Go Fish"". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  2. ^ McKenna, Kristine (July 10, 1994). "Crossover Hopes: Can 'Fish' and 'Priscilla' Find the Mainstream?". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 11, 2023. Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  3. ^ Dry, Jude (August 17, 2016). "Rose Troche Does VR: How A Major '90s Filmmaker Is Making New Technology Indie". IndieWire. Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  4. ^ Maslin, Janet (June 10, 1994). "Review/Film; Girl Meets Girl, Laughter Included". Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Lesbian Film 'Fish' Reaches Mainstream". The Morning Call. August 12, 1994. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  6. ^ "Go Fish". www.siff.net. Archived from the original on January 21, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Rich, B. Ruby (2013). New Queer Cinema. Duke University Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-8223-5428-4.
  8. ^ Willis, Holly. "Fish Stories". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  9. ^ "Go Fish". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. June 10, 1994. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  10. ^ Levy, Emanuel (January 25, 1994). "Go Fish". Variety.
  11. ^ Travers, Peter (June 10, 1994). "Go Fish". Rolling Stone.
  12. ^ Dry, Jude (May 8, 2017). "The 15 Greatest Lesbian Movies of All Time, Ranked". IndieWire. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  13. ^ Kempley, Rita (July 2, 1994). "'Go Fish'". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  14. ^ Pierson, Melissa (November 3, 1995). "Go Fish". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 12, 2021.
  15. ^ "Go Fish". Teddy Awards. Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  16. ^ a b "Go Fish". Serendip Studio. Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  17. ^ Evans, Greg (March 19, 1995). "GLAAD Honcho Blasts Talkers At Awards". Variety. Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  18. ^ "Past Recipients of 1994". Gotham Awards. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  19. ^ Natale, Richard (January 11, 1995). "A Bit More Dependence Than In the Past : Movies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  20. ^ Obejas, Achy (June 17, 1994). "'Go Fish' Celebrates its Target Market". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on April 8, 2023. Retrieved August 12, 2021.

External links[edit]