Inside Out 2014: The Foxy Merkins – Film Review

Director: Madeleine Olnek
Cast: Lisa Haas, Jackie Monahan
Country: USA
Year: 2013
Runtime: 90 min
Rating: R

The Foxy Merkins (2013) is a film that revels in its very awkward brand of humour. Madeleine Olnek, the director of past Inside Out festival favourite Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (2011), presents a spin on the male hustler movie with this depiction of the lesbian sex trade. Nervous Margaret (Lisa Haas) is new to the streets, but hopes to become an expert with the help of a new friend, the experienced lesbian prostitute Jo (Jackie Monahan). This film depicts a world that may not exist in quite this manner, but taps into the kind of uncomfortable humour to which many can relate.   

Olnek’s work benefits from a witty screenplay that comes through in spite of a few wooden deliveries. The two lead actresses are at their best when they are interacting with each other, and both come across as likeable and entertaining. Margaret and Jo may have differing feelings towards each other, but their chemistry is that of two dry humoured friends with great comedic timing. The occasional use of “mockumentary” style filming adds an interesting aspect to the film as well.

The Foxy Merkins is a film that aims to entertain. It is difficult not to laugh at the utter absurdity of some of these situations, rendering the comedy effective. Charming and well-meaning leads add to an experience that may not be cinematically ground breaking, but certainly is fun.

Rating: 7 / 10

Screening Time: Saturday May 31, 6:45pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 1