The Falls: Testament of Love

The Falls: Testament of Love (2013)

It’s said (and a fact) that you have to break some eggs to make an omelet.  Odd that saying should come to me as I open this review, but I feel like I just watched someone start to make some breakfast…

Synopsis from IMDB: “Chris and RJ reunite five years after coming out to their families and their church as gay men, where the factors that led to their separation are revealed as they mourn the death of their mutual friend Rodney.”

At the end of the last film, The Falls, we were hopeful that RJ and Chris would find something together.  And as this film tells us, they did – for a while.  But when Chris returned home he got caught up in choosing between the life the Church promised or a life with RJ.  He chose God. Continue reading “The Falls: Testament of Love”

Steel

Steel (2015)

This film is certainly not your run of the mill and overplayed gay movie story line.  It deals with some serious issues.  It can be difficult enough for someone to come to terms with their own sexuality, but also dealing with an anxiety disorder makes things much harder.

Synopsis from IMDB: “Strong emotions – fear and panic, self-search and isolation, love and sex, self-denial and self-discovery – a ride on an emotional roller coaster while trying to find one’s way into life.”

I’m pretty sure this is the first and only film I’ve seen about a main character who suffers from both internalized homophobia and agoraphobia.  Daniel has a serious case of both which play out in destructive ways to his career and personal life.

Although I found the first 30 minutes of the film very odd, in hindsight I think it might be meant to be perceived that way.  At first, you don’t know what the hell is going on.  The overzealous music doesn’t help – it makes you think someone if about to be murdered.  However, we see Daniel seemingly fine – hiding his anxiety under certain conditions.  But when those conditions change we see someone else entirely. Continue reading “Steel”

I Love You Both

I Love You Both (2016)

The emergency code to get out of a bad date or situation is watermelons!

Synopsis from IMDB: “Krystal and her twin brother/roommate confront twenty-eight years of their codependency when they start dating the same guy.”

I followed this film when it was on Indiegogo as Quarter Life Crisis, and thought it had a lot of potential.  It wasn’t quite what I expected.

One of the main topics of this film seems to be co-dependence.  Krystal and Donny are twins, they live together, eat breakfast together, and do almost everything together.  They are even interested in the same guy.  I thought they would dive more into their relationship or maybe make it more humorous. Continue reading “I Love You Both”

That’s Not Us

That’s Not Us (2015)

Sometimes solving a relationship problem is just a matter of communicating with your partner.  But what if there are deeper issues that make you afraid or lose control?  Sometimes it’s not as easy as you’d think.

Synopsis: “Three twenty-something couples – gay, lesbian and straight – travel to a beach house to enjoy the last days of summer, but what was meant to be a fun, carefree retreat transforms into an intimate exploration of sex and commitment. … THAT’S NOT US is a romantic comedy that questions what it takes to sustain a healthy long-term partnership. While gender and sexuality may vary, the struggles to make love last do not.”

Researching this film, I found that it is unlike most others in that the majority of it was improvised by the actors.  They started with an outline of what was supposed to happen, and the dialogue was invented on the fly by the actors.  This leads to a very natural sounding, conversational tone to the film.  It makes it more personal and intimate which contributes to the overall feel and theme of the movie. Continue reading “That’s Not Us”

Bromance

Bromance (2016)

How well do these friends know themselves and each other, and will their friendships stand the test of learning each other’s secrets?

Quick synopsis from IMDB: “A forest by the sea. Three friends. A girl. Friendship, love. Can they overcome prejudices and go back to being friends again?”

To clarify, there are several films that have similar names.  This is not the 2015 comedy Bromance, nor is it the Thai film called My Bromance.  I also think the synopsis would better read, “A camping trip. Three friends. A girl.  Friendship and love.  Do they really know themselves and each other, and can they still be friends in the end?”  I’m not sure that the forest is the key part of their journey together.

The first night of camping reveals that there is something more between Daniel and Santi than just friendship.  Whether it’s one sided or not is part of the story of the film.  The two have an intimate conversation that evening, and it’s one that Daniel replays in his mind and literally on camera. Continue reading “Bromance”

Being 17

Being 17 (2016)

When most folks are about 17 years old they are still figuring out who they are.  Being 17 interprets this struggle like a nomad wandering through the mountains.

The two main characters are both 17 and coming of age.  Damien is figuring out who he is without his dad being there as well as figuring out his sexual orientation.  Thomas is processing through being adopted and what he plans to do with his life, as well as which gender he’s attracted to.

As these two process their lives, they fight not only themselves but each other as well.  A significant part of the film is devoted to the time they spend fighting each other verbally and physically.  It seems like this process follows their battle with some internalized homophobia that holds them back.  It’s obvious from their odd obsession/aversion as well as some random glances that these two have something between them. Continue reading “Being 17”

When We Rise

When We Rise (2017)

A moving documentary of the LGBTQ equal rights movement, When We Rise covers a lot of ground and reminds us of what has come before us and what still needs to be done.

The first thing I liked about this series is how it personalized everything.  From the heartbreak of an unknown lover’s passing to the joy of a modern gay marriage, I felt like I was brought along the roller coaster of emotions with the characters.  It’s not just a documentation of the facts of history, but it’s brought to life through real people’s experiences of that history. Continue reading “When We Rise”

Spooners

Spooners

SpoonersSpooners (2013)

This series, based on a short film of the same name, is a funny, sometimes cliche, and always relevant look at married, gay life.

The series starts out with a couple in their 30s (I think) who are stable in their relationship, but need a new bed as they’ve been sleeping on their futon for too long.  So the crazy part is when they go bed shopping, and all the inadvertent attention they draw as they shop as a same-sex couple in a mattress store. Continue reading “Spooners”

Holding the Man

m_htmHolding the Man (2015)

The cover art of this film betrays the raw and resolute nature of this film.  They appear to be dancing in golden light, but their reality is less sunny.

Tim and John meet in high school, and their romance blossoms from there.  Although not everything is always roses – they go through all kinds of relationship and individual challenges.  Eventually there is one challenge that they must face together, and will test them to the end. Continue reading “Holding the Man”

The Boys Who Brunch

The Boys Who Brunch – Season One-Two (2011-14)

“That’s what life is all about… the people you meet along the way.”

Making connections with other people is maybe one of the highlights of life.  That and a good mimosa to start the day.  As this web series opened up its first episode, it comments on how in New York City, there are so many people crammed in together, but how difficult it is to find real, genuine friends. Mason, our main character, is eager to make real connections with people and to maintain them. Continue reading “The Boys Who Brunch”

Beneath the Skin

m_btsBeneath the Skin (2015)

Two young men start out with abandonment issues, but find love with each other.  Will they be torn apart more by the bullies or their own circumstances?

Summary: Acts of abandonment causes two young men to relocate to a small island in Canada. But things begin to look better when student Joshua (Ellis) and tattooist Jay (Liles) meet. That isuntil Joshua’s new-found school bullies get involved.

There were some good parts to this film that stood out to me.  The friendly tattoo artist and his girlfriend who take in Jay (and befriend Joshua) come across as genuine and wonderful people.  It’s a shame it wasn’t more developed that they created a chosen family and how that impacted everyone.  Joshua and his brother have some scenes that are touching.  And Joshua and Jay have some chemistry that helps promote the dynamic between them. Continue reading “Beneath the Skin”