Film Review: My Normal

My Normal

My Normal is a movie that seems to exist mostly to normalize BDSM and those who make money from its practice. I have no problem with this.

However, in its attempts to normalize this major element of the movie, they removed anything interesting. Nothing fucking happens in this movie. Natalie, the protagonist, just does stuff. Sometimes it’s gay stuff, sometimes it’s BDSM stuff, none of it is stuff that is interesting to me as a viewer.

Movies need to have drama, it’s why we watch them. But My Normal was so focused on having its protagonist not encounter much drama in order to “normalize” her identity that we get very little of this. My Normal fails to entertain because of its refusal to take the key points of its story and its main character’s life and make them dramatic.

My Normal suffers from a severe lack of conflict.

Natalie is well adjusted and makes good money in her role as a dominatrix, so there’s no conflict there. Natalie’s mother and sister both accept her homosexuality and don’t know (and never find out) about her career as a dominatrix. Again, no conflict. Natalie also has a girlfriend who struggles with Natalie’s profession as a dominatrix and leaves her because of this halfway through the movie. Another excellent set up for conflict that leads nowhere. The girlfriend just admits she can’t handle it and leaves. She doesn’t come back at the end more enlightened nor does Natalie try and win her back. The plot line is just dropped and its absence really doesn’t impact the movie that much.

I wanted to like My Normal because of the matter-of-fact way it showed both lesbianism and a woman who works as a dominatrix. On a positive note, this is a movie in which the lead character’s sexual preference is incidental to the overall plot which I am in favour of. But again, the writer’s attempts to normalize these aspects made the movie less interesting. Portraying a dominatrix lesbian as a highly pedestrian thing wasn’t interesting because it was played so damn pedestrian. My Normal veers off Natalie’s life being shown as normal and into it seeming boring.

The end of My Normal depicts Natalie tying a rude movie executive to a chair at which point he has a sexual awakening regarding his interest in being dominated.

Natalie then reads her screenplay to her captive, aroused audience and forces/persuades him to produce it. The movie’s name? My Normal. This piece of unnecessary meta almost pissed me off except it also made so much sense. The only way a screenplay as weak as this should have been produced is if some guy was only green lighting because of a dubiously consensual BDSM scene.

My Normal is moderately successful in normalizing BDSM but is a whole failure in its medium of choice, film. I believe movies exist as entertainment and in that, My Normal is a colossal failure. There is little plot and even less conflict in My Normal. I don’t care about any of the characters. At the end of it all, my overall opinion is that My Normal wasted my time.