Moreover, she has been unable to find new friends in the city, although she even awards some of her fellow apartment-dwellers with house-warming gifts which they might have been awarding her. The work she spends on planning for new teaching projects mostly turns her under-decorated apartment into a mess. And as she grows in the depression of what she projected as a new life, her calls home to her mother end in near-disaster as her mother attempts to probe the underlying cause of these calls.
Let me clarify: this is not a lesbian movie; there is no sexual interrelationship between these two women. But it might as well be, as Melanie becomes more and more attached to her new “friend,” spying on her, often through binoculars (which have been donated for her classes’ failed field trip) and, ultimately, even slightly stalking her new-found friend, showing up even at a rather elegant celebration in her haute clothing shop in a frowsy coat to talk to Tina’s clients about the difficulty of teaching.
With the school vacation over, Melanie takes her own day off, driving her car down a freeway on cruise control, and suddenly, releasing her hands from the wheel, jumping over into the back seat to calmly observe the results. 2003, the date of the film, was long before cars might possibly be driven electronically by themselves. We know what the result will be. Melanie may be outwardly mourned, but she will never have discovered much love in her life. She has been a clumsy and desperate would-be lover for her students and both her heterosexual and woman friends.