Loving Annabelle (2006) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

It's the old story, often told, about the maverick student who has been dismissed from several private schools. Her mother is a U.S. Senator, and hopes to bring her young rebel in line, so finally sends her to a strict Catholic boarding school for girls, hoping at least to remove most of the occasions for temptation. Mother doesn't count on the one teacher who will finally break through to the youngster and eventually form a bond that will extend into the carnal, with unhappy consequences for one and all.

Why tell this story again? Primarily for a new audience. Varying from the usual male fantasy subtext inherent in this story, this is a chick-flick. It easily meets the minimum requirement of a 1 point differential between the male and female ratings at IMDb with a 1.4. More specifically, it is for a very special kind of chick. For, you see, the teacher and student are both female.

Loving Annabelle is not such a bad movie. It's slick, technically savvy, sincere, and well acted. It just can't really quite find a comfortable place to settle. It vacillates between rosy-tinted fantasy romance, soft-core titillation, and serious drama, and it never really finds a home in any of those places.

Variety gave it a negative review:

Taken as softcore lesbian fantasia -- though there are signs writer-helmer Katherine Brooks' intentions are serious -- this unofficial, very loose "Maedchen in Uniform" remake will provide decent guilty-pleasure sofa-date fare for specialized auds. Gauzy lensing, nubiles lounging in lingerie, and some high-drama moments verging on unintentional camp keep slick but silly item well removed from any semblance of real life.

I don't have much to add to that, and I believe that the show-biz publication honed in precisely on the correct genre for the movie - it's a guilty pleasure film for lesbians. The comments at IMDb, which are mostly from women in the target audience and are mostly quite favorable, confirm that the film does have an enthusiastic, if specialized audience. In fact, the audience is exceptionally enthusiastic. The IMDb scores are astounding. There are nearly 500 votes, and the arithmetic mean is 9.1/10. That's Casablanca territory! 3/4 of the voters awarded it the full 10/10, and there are virtually no scores under seven. Well, good on ya, ladies. I guess you have as much right to those guilty pleasures as the rest of us.

The film's pre-DVD exposure was limited to gay and lesbian film festivals, but that fact creates two incorrect impressions of the film. It is a better film than implied by that fact, and it is a more widely appealing one as well. Male audiences will undoubtedly find the story too familiar, with only the teacher's gender varying from a dozen other films stored in vague memory. Men who want to see the film's sex scene, which comes near the end of the story, will probably reach for the remote several times to plow through the humorless, melodramatic dialogue. On the other hand, there isn't really time for the film to drag. It's only 76 minutes long including all the credits and titles, so some men may well find that short wait worthwhile. The guilty pleasure aspect of the film can work for men as well as women, because there is no preaching or strident gay activism involved in the film, and the sex scene does, after all, involve two attractive women. The teacher looks like a 40ish Helen Mirren, and the young girl is a more glamorous, less innocent version of Jennifer Jason Leigh circa Ridgemont High. While the nudity is quite subtle - only a half-glimpsed nipple here and there, the sex scene features two attractive women in a lingering, erotic embrace in which they press their bare breasts together and move sensuously. Although I'm not in the target market, I found this erotic, and might have found it extremely erotic if the director had used a few more light bulbs and had opened it up a bit.



  • Commentary by Katherine Brooks and Erin Kelly
  • "The Making of Loving Annabelle" featurette
  • Alternate Ending
  • Outtakes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Slide Show
  • Bonus short
  • Widescreen transfer, but NOT anamorphically enhanced for 16x9 screens.


  • Diane Gaidry exposes her breasts in the sex scene and in a bath.

  • Portions of Erin Kelly's beasts are visible in the sex scene.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online except Variety's (cited above)

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this proper score for the film misty be a C+, based upon the IMDb scores and comments. It has established itself as a narrow interest film which is extremely appealing to its small target audience. As someone outside that audience, I found it competent and watchable, but unremarkable.

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