E (Mandahla Rose) is a free-spirited, Arab-Australian, lesbian nightclub performer living in Sydney. Her act is a hit, woman adore her and she seems to have a great life. Things change for her when she accidentally gets her hands on a holdall full of money and decides to keep it. However, it turns out it belongs to the violent nightclub owner she works for, and as soon as she realises that, E knows she’s in trouble and so goes on the run with her gay best friend (and marriage of convenience husband), Matt (Brett Rogers).
As they travel across Australia, it becomes clear that perhaps E isn’t as fulfilled as she seems, something that becomes particularly apparent when they arrive on the doorstep of her ex-girlfriend, Trish (Julia Billington), neither of whom have quite gotten over their breakup. And there’s still the problem of the stolen cash.
Well made and with a fair amount of charm, All About E’s only real issue is that it’s like two rather different, pretty-good movies pushed together. One side of the movie is a thriller/caper road movie, while the other is a slower, more contemplative romantic drama. The movie seems to want to show that someone like the enigmatic E can have two very different sides to them, both of which are equally valid, but the movie has difficulty bringing those sides together, particularly when the plot causes them to collide.
Individually though, both sides are interesting and entertaining, and the fact they don’t always gel together isn’t as much of a problem as it might have been. A lot of the thanks for that must go to Mandalha Rose as E, who is an extremely strong heart for the movie, breathing life into a character who might have been in danger of seeming too selfish and hard in other hands. Rose gives her depth and shows that there’s more to E than the face she shows the world and a tendency to be impulsive.
Brett Rogers as Matt is sometimes a little more problematic, as there’s a tendency at times for him to come across as the stereotypical gay comic relief, although thankfully the movie does sometimes show there’s more to him than that.
While lesbian-themed films have an (unfair) image of being overly melodramatic, bittersweet romantic dramas that are a bit of a slog to get through, here it’s the romantic side that works better than the thriller elements it’s paired with. It would almost have been nice to see more of E and Trish’s relationship, but the movie manages to just pull its other side around enough to show how it’s also part of E’s journey, to ensure that overall it works.
Overall Verdict: The thriller and romance sides of All About E might sometimes make uneasy bedfellows, but as each aspect is relatively entertaining and don’t detract too much from one another, it’s make for a pretty entertaining lesbian-themed movie.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac