Who knows if it's the repression, the fetish costumes that include corsets and hosiery, or simply the chance to tell a story of early forbidden love, but Hollywood and plenty of independent producers love to set stories about queer women in the past. Queer women in bodices have proliferated of late in Ammonite and Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Now Saturday Night Live has skewered the tendency of Hollywood to cast straight actors to play queer women in stories set in past centuries (although Portrait is written and directed by Celine Sciamma, a lesbian, and stars a queer woman, Adéle Haenel)with a sketch starring guest host Carey Mulligan and Heidi Gardner in SNL’s version of the Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan starrer Ammonite.
The faux trailer begins with Beck Bennett dropping his wife off with an older woman at the seaside, citing that he’s leaving her there because she’s a “bummer.”
“Starring two actresses who dared not to wear makeup, 12 lines of dialogue, two-and-a-half-hour runtime,” the voice-over states.
“Watch in heated anticipation as they round all the bases like grazing fingers, washing carrots, and fast, aggressive this [as the camera pulls out to show a pulled focus sex scene],” the narration continues.
“Two hours of excruciating tension all building up to a sex scene so graphic you’ll think, Oh, right. A man directed this,” it continues, aping discussions in the vernacular about the “male gaze.”
At a few points, Kate McKinnon turns up as the dapper ex to Gardner's character for comic relief and to bemoan the bad sex they endured together because they were the only lesbians within “five countries” of each other.
Watch the sketch below.