Mark Richfield (Gregor Cosgrove) is newly hired at the PR firm that Steve Miller (Eric Presnall) has worked at for years. Their relationship gets off to a rocky start but grows tension as they end up discovering things together about themselves that they didn’t seem to know. All it takes is one night in the desert together to ignite something that neither one was prepared for. And then it takes everything they have to come to terms with what it means for each of them.
I read this book last summer while camping, and discovered it was being turned into a movie. I was a bit surprised as I bought it thinking it was just another romance novel. Of course my opinions might be a bit skewed as I compared the movie to the novel throughout watching it, and that might be annoying or cumbersome to a review. The storyline pretty much was overall the same, but like many books turned silver screen there were a few details missing.
Steve runs a lot. He runs shirtless a lot. From an eye candy perspective this works. In the beginning of the movie there are some flashbacks that don’t quite make sense until about 2/3 of the way into the movie. While the storyline generally flows it also jumps here and there. For instance, the boys are not quite sure of what they are to each other, but we find them making out in the elevator on the way to work.
One of the themes here is self-discovery. I think this comes from the concept that is provoking to the male readers of the romance novel where two straight men are discovering that maybe they’re not as straight as they thought. Truly both men struggle to varying degrees, although in Rich’s case it seems strange given his lifetime friendship with his roommate who is a gay man. Steve’s journey is more straightforward even morphing through
the metaphor of a car wash. They support each other through the process in various ways, all the while a relationship is forming. It’s like a coming of age story meets romance novel, and birthed a mid-life crisis.
Courage to be true to oneself is another theme that is exemplified by Steve and his coming out to his sister. He figures things out pretty quickly, although I wondered occasionally what he saw in Mark besides an often angry outburst. Mark takes longer and struggles harder, although I don’t think he ever had his father point a gun at him for being gay.
These are two well-deserving themes for a contemporary movie, and overall the movie was executed well. The production quality was very good. The music was sometimes jarring, although it followed the characters’ themes and current disposition. Minor continuity errors didn’t detract.
Good filming, mostly believable acting, and a story worth exploring made the movie worthwhile.
Good line: “I think he wants the hot dog…” – Steve’s sister