Sexual innuendo, references and fondling
THE LEMON SISTERS is an endearing movie about the life-long friendships of three women who have grown up together under the shadow of the boardwalk in the changing Atlantic City. Set in the early 1980s, the story centers around the disintegration and re-integration of their friendships. Nola, a happily married mother, has owned a taffy store on the boardwalk for many years. Her neighbor, Eloise (Diane Keaton), owns a TV trivia store. The third friend, Frankie, who is named after Frank Sinatra, is a ditzy lounge singer and photo girl at Caesar’s Palace.
The three quirky, long-time friends have met every Monday since they were children. Together, they decide to form a singing team affectionally known as “The Lemon Sisters”. After a performance at one of the local dives, the trio decides to open their own club. There’s only one catch: where to get the money.
Suddenly, from out of the blue a real estate agent offers to buy Nola and Eloise’s properties for $100,000 apiece. All looks bright until Nola’s husband (Elliot Gould), decides to invest Nola’s money in a new up-scale establishment, and come out with a new line of taffy rabbits called “taffits”.
The new taffy shop flops, and Nola is in danger of losing her house. Eloise saves the day by selling her prized collection of treasured TV trivia. The house and friendship are subsequently saved.
All in all, “THE LEMON SISTERS is a cute film that should be pleasing to teenagers and up, but it is not without its questionable elements. Although the script is just a little above average, the performance by Diane Keaton is entertaining. There is a somewhat objectionable dance number that Frankie performs, but it is more campy than sexually suggestive or lewd. A caution is still advised, however, for other scenes which contain sexual references, innuendo and fondling. Also, obviously, the movie is set in the world of gambling.
The themes of fidelity and friendship are pleasant ones. “This project was our idea,” explains Carol Kane who plays Frankie. “Diane, Kathryn and I have been friends since the mid-70s.” Wanting to work together again and loving Atlantic City, they “went up there with the writer and started talking about what kind of story we could weave for the three of us. We wanted to speak about the importance of friendship — just friendship in general. The idea is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” continues Kane, whose character says, “Two lemons is just two lemons, but if you put three lemons together, it’s a jackpot!”
Actually, such a statement is not bad theology either. Matthew 18:19 says that “if two (or three) of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven,” and not only that, but “even greater things than these” (John 14:12). Please note, though, that such an exhortation to ask must be done in Jesus’ name, which implies right motives and being in the will of God.