Category Archives: GLBT

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

The Kids Are All Right is one the of movies that I regretted not seeing last year. I was kicking myself because I wanted to see the movie from my Julianne Moore blog-a-thon for LAMB Acting School 101. The movie was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, Actress, Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay. After hearing the tremendous buzz around this film, I was a little disappointed with it.

Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) have been in a committed relationship for over twenty years. Like with every relationship, they have hit a plateau. Nic is the sole breadwinner of the family working as a doctor, while Jules is starting up a landscape architect business.

Recently celebrating their daughter, Joni’s (Mia Wasikowska) 18th birthday, their family dynamic changes when Joni and her half-brother, Laser (Josh) snoop around their moms personal belonging to find the identity of their birth father. The sperm bank calls sperm donor, Paul (Mark Ruffalo) to ask him if her would like to see his kids. He agrees.

Paul initial meeting with the kids comes off awkward as Joni is more receptive to getting to know Paul and Laser is more guarded. Laser lets the secret meeting with his birth dad slip when his moms question his relationship with best friend, Clay (Eddie Hassell). Nic and Jules think that the kids should not meet Paul again until they have a chance to meet him.

When the family meets Paul, Nic is weary about him whiles Jules is open to getting to know him. When the conversation turns to Jules business, Paul wants to hire Jules as his landscape architect for his overgrown backyard. The relationships between everyone changes when an indiscretion threatens to tear the family apart.

I think that screenwriters Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg have created a fully realized family that you are not bothered that the family has two moms.  I did feel that some plot points were not explored enough with Laser’s friendship with Clay, Paul’s flirt-flirt with Tanya (Yaya DaCosta) or Joni with her friends, Jai (Kunal Sharma) and Sasha (Zosia Mamet).

A couple of things really bothered me with the movie was the grainy-ness of the film. I don’t know if that was Cholodenko’s intention for that to happen or it was the transfer to DVD. Also, the indiscretion felt familiar, because it was a plot point in Queer As Folk. It was like okay.

Judgment: It feels like an accessible movie that everyone could enjoy.

Rating: 7.5/10

Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)

We all have baggage.

— Ramona Flowers

Film nerds everywhere were almost salivating over the release of three-time Omie Award winning, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. I was one of those people, but I didn’t have the dollars to watch the film at the time. No, wait, that was when I saw The Town instead of this, right. Big mistake that was. I was bummed that I didn’t get the chance to see it until now.

The movie starts with the classic Atari 8-bit making over the opening credits. You know that it’s going to off-kilter from there. The titular Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a 22-year-old nerd from Toronto that between jobs and is dating a high schooler named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). Scott is the bassist in a band named Sex Bob-omb with lead guitarist, Stephen (Mark Webber), his morose ex-gf drummer, Kim (Alison Pill) with Young Neil (Johnny Simmons) hanging around them.

Hearing the band play obviously bad music, Knives is convinced that they are awesome and should go into Battle of the Bands to get a record contract from G-Man aka Gideon (Jason Schwartzman).

One day, Scott meets the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) at a library. He falls hard for her and wants to know everything about her when they meet again at a party. He convinces her to go out on a date with her. What Scott doesn’t realize is that in order to date her, he has to get past her seven evil exes.

The movie is a Nintendo style video game come to life with the pop up points, life points, the way the exes explode when they are defeated. There is one thing that I didn’t enjoy was Michael Cera’s obvious stunt double that had a Raggedy Andy mop top on his head. That threw me for a loop.

It was nice to see something different in a quirky romantic comedy. I think that this movie is too cutting edge for me. Everybody seems to love the film. I like it. It’s probably going to be one of those that I have to watch again to fully appreciate it. It might happen with The Big Lebowski. Who knows?

Judgment: If you like to see a guy with the built of a Holocaust victim beating the crap out some people, this is your flick.

Rating: 7.5/10

A Home at the End of the World (2004)

The best thing about Philadelphia is you can leave it.

— Jonathan Glover

I was surprised that I got the chance to see A Home at the End of the World, because I heard about the infamous Colin Farrell full frontal scene that was cut out of the movie. I wanted to see Farrell play gay because I had the biggest crush on him at the time. The bad boy persona was inviting. It was nice to watch the movie on Logo.

Based on the book by Michael Cunningham who penned the script, the movie is about a trio of friends who grow in and out of love with each other. There is the sardonic Jonathan (Dallas Roberts) who grew up with his hippie friend Bobby (Farrell). They have been interested in each other since they were kids.

They reconnect in 1980s New York where Jonathan is an out gay man where he is rooming with the free spirited, Claire (Robin Wright Penn). Their relationships are tested where the plan of Jonathan of fathering Claire’s kid is derailed when Claire decides to bed the inexperienced Bobby who is bisexual.

The three of them become a family of their own when they are trying to raise the baby.

I’m surprised that I don’t have anything more to say about this movie. The storyline is straightforward. Nothing compelling goes on with it. It was a nice treat to see Colin kiss another man.

The thing that takes me out of the film is that Claire is supposed to be the same age range as Jonathan and Bobby. I don’t buy her being a free spirit when she is clearly a good decade older than them. I’m sorry but I need to say that.

Judgment: It’s a throwaway movie that is nice to see when flipping channels.

Rating: 6.5/10

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Ya know it could be like this, just like this always.

— Jack Twist

Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain was the seminal movie that ignited my passion for the cinemas. I was obsessed with this movie when it came out. I didn’t see most of the Best Picture nominees that year for that reason. It was the be all, end all for me. It went on to when three Oscars including Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Score. The Oscars were on my “shit list” for a long time that it did not win Best Picture, instead of giving it to Crash.

Summer 1963. Wyoming. A gruff rancher named Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and brooding Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) help out sheep herder Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid) move his flock on Brokeback Mountain without the park rangers smelling him out. It seems like everyday is the same with eating beans, watching the sheep; Ang Lee brilliant direction makes it fascinating to watch their relationship unfolded. Jack’s innocence softens Ennis’s tough exterior. He begins to express himself more.

One night, their friendship is changed forever after a night of drinking they have sex. Multiple questions arise: did Jack forced himself Ennis? Did they come together because they were the only humans around? Afterwards, they try to shake it off as a one time only occurrence. They can’t because they are beginning to fall in love with each other.

They thought that they could keep their relationship secret, but it is the worst kept secret. The work they are sent to do suffers as Aguirre’s flock is confused with another sheep herder and a massive snow storm cut their time short. Jack and Ennis have to go their separate. They don’t work to leave each other’s side, but it was a different time in 1963. They can’t run away together and go to Greenwich Village or San Francisco.

Ennis marries his longtime girlfriend, Alma (Michelle Williams) and quickly starts a family with her. Jack tries to get back into the rodeo circuit, but he  meets the forward, Lureen Newsome (Anne Hathaway). I never realized that each guy married a female version of each other. Alma is passive like Jack and Lureen is more take charge like Ennis. They try to lead “regular” lives as fate steps in to turn their worlds upside down.

I remember the first time that I saw the film at the Landmark Theater back in Houston. It was a couple of days after it opened in limited release that December. The line for the movie was around the corner. It was amazing to see straight and gay couples wanting to see this movie. The movie was packed. It sat on the very back of the theater. I wanted to soak the experience in. I’m glad I did. I laughed. I cried. I went on a journey with these characters.

Oh, how I love this movie. Let me count the ways. The beautiful, breathtaking mountain peaks captured on video by Rodrigo Pietro, the haunting score by Gustavo Santaolalla, the excellent acting by Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams. I was surprised that the movie only won three Oscars. It boggles the mind.

The movie is not perfect. I did have some troubles with Anne Hathaway towards the end of the movie and some of the small female roles were throw aways like Anna Faris and Linda Cardellini. There was also the conclusion of the relationship. It was a little cliché.

Judgment: This is a prime example of why the Oscars don’t know what the fuck qualifies as the Best Picture of the year.

Rating: 9.5/10

The Hours (2002)

Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more. It’s contrast.

— Virginia Woolf

The adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s book, The Hours garnered nine Oscar nominations in 2002 and it was won for Nicole Kidman as Best Actress for playing Virginia Woolf I haven’t seen this movie in years. I turned to it when it was on cable and watched it. I didn’t much care for it, because it was so dreary and depressing that I wanted to kill myself after watching it.  I shouldn’t have been as harsh as I been, but it is not an enjoyable film to sit through.

Three seemingly separate stories from three different twenty-four hour periods that are woven together in this movie. It tells the day in 1923 of English writer, Virginia Woolf (Kidman) who is inspired to write the manuscript for her début novel, Mrs. Dalloway. It tells the story about a woman named Clarissa who is hosting a party, but she feels constrained by society’s rules that she is unhappy.

Virginia is subjected to live in countryside because of her history of mental illness and her attempts to kill herself. This worries Virginia’s husband, Leonard (Stephen Dillane) to no end that he has to change his life for her. When a visit from her sister, Vanessa (Miranda Richardson) shows her what she should do to her heroine in the end of her novel.

A depressed pregnant housewife in 1951 Los Angles reads Mrs. Dalloway, Sarah Brown (Julianne Moore) as her only mission is bake a cake for her husband, Dan (John C. Reilly) for his birthday. She feels that she living someone else’s life and not her own. She tries to hide it from her son, Richie (Jack Rovello) who wants to help his mommy out with the cake. The only break in her mundane day was when her neighbor, Kitty (Toni Collette) comes by the hospital to her some upsetting news. Sarah’s only escape is the book as a key to a better life.

Lastly, in 2001 is a modern of “Mrs. Dalloway”, Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep) who is helping plan the party of her longtime friend who is stricken with full-blown AIDS, Richard (Ed Harris) who is receiving the Carruther’s prize for his poetry. Clarissa is running around trying to make Richard comfortable when he is slowing losing his mind as his body deteriorates. Clarissa’s girlfriend, Sally (Alison Janney) tried to lend a hand for the preparation, but Clarissa wants to do everything herself. Trying to please Richard could drive a wedge between Sally, Clarissa’s daughter, Julia (Claire Danes) or Richard’s ex-boyfriend, Louis (Jeff Daniels).

As I said before, this movie is dark and dreary about living an authentic life when you are given the role that you have to play. I understand that the movie tried to have that “ah-ha moment”, but I feel like it wasn’t earned in that respect. Almost everybody dwells on death, depression, mental illness, heartbreak, regret that when they have a change of heart seems cheap.

Seeing this movie again, I understand that it was Oscar baity when the serious drama, having a real person in the movie, setting it in different time periods. The characters were not that interesting to me. They seemed flat. The dialogue that they were saying was beautiful, but it felt out of place for me.

I cannot understand why Nicole Kidman won the Oscar for this. I cannot be because of the fake nose, matronly clothes and floppy hats. I cannot be just that scene in the train station alone. It has to be all encompassing. I think Julianne got shafted because they seemed like similar roles. They are polar opposites. Cathy wanted to be a part of the American dream, while Sarah wants to escape it. Meryl was doing her thing. She was solid in the movie. I didn’t like Clarissa.

Judgment: The movie is like looking at a beautiful. Think about it.

Rating: ***

Far From Heaven (2002)

Oh, Raymond, Mrs. Whitaker sounds so formal! Won’t you please… ask me to dance?

— Cathy Whitaker

Writer/director, Todd Haynes wanted to make an homage of the Douglas Dirk bedroom melodramas of the 1950s. He created Far From Heaven, which garnered Julianne Moore another Oscar nomination for Best Actress. It was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Original Score. This was my favorite film of 2002 and I still stand by it.

This story is about a typical American family on the surface. There is the breadwinner of this Connecticut family, Frank Whitaker (Dennis Quaid) who is one of the sales executives at a company called Magnatech. His wife, Cathy (Moore) is the perfect homemaker that reminds you of Donna Reed. She juggles her wifely duties as mother to David (Ryan Ward) and Janice (Lindsay Andretta). Cathy is assisted by her trusty housekeeper, Sybil (Viola Davis) who watches the kids when has an errand to run or plans a cocktail party with her friend, Eleanor (Patricia Clarkson).

During the night of one of Cathy’s planned soirees, she is pulled from attending when she receives a call to pick up her husband from the police station for an incident earlier in the evening. On the drive home, the audience realizes that there are cracks in the foundation of the Whitaker marriage. Cathy tries her best to be close to her husband, who brushes her off. She concludes that it is just stress from work.

A reporter from the Weekly Gazette, Mrs. Leacock (Bette Henritze) comes by the house to interview Cathy for the couple being named Mr. and Mrs. Magnatech 1957. Cathy’s attention is distracted when a strange man is lurking in her backyard. She goes to see Raymond Deagan (Dennis Haysbert), the son of their old gardener who recently passed away. He is their new gardener and they introduce each other.

Frank pulls himself away from his family by diving head first into a big project that he has to do for work, going to the movies or hanging out in back alley bars. Cathy is jealous that her girlfriends could be intimate with their husbands and hers barely shows her any affection.

During another late night working for Frank, Cathy decides to take his dinner over to his office. When she arrives, she is in for the shock of her life when she sees Frank kissing another man. She is devastated as her seemingly perfect life is crumbling down around her.

Can I say that I love this movie? I love this movie. I’m not familiar with the bedroom melodramas of Sirk’s, but this movie makes me want to visit those movies that inspired this one. Todd Hayes created a fantastic movie with the classic title sequence and end credit, the luscious cinematography, the marvelous score by Elmer Bernstein, Sandy Powell’s costumes, the vibrant colors and the type of film Hayes used. It feels authentic, like it was a lost movie from that time. The subjects addressed in this film would be too taboo for audiences to see.

I want to highlight Haynes words. His original script was very nuanced. No word felt out of place. Being delivered by these wonderful actors is something to marvel. Moore was radiant. She portrayed Cathy as a typical housewife, but she has progressive feelings for the Negroes or women’s rights. With Cathy’s world was crumbling around her, she put on a brave face covering her inner pain. Moore was subdued in her portrayal of Cathy that I was rooting for her to win the Oscar, but she was denied.

A special mention has to go Dennis Quaid who I thought was robbed for a nomination for Best Supporting Actor and I continue to talk about the egregious error to this day. He was so good playing a tortured husband torn between the way society wants him and how he is feeling on the inside.

Judgment: Bravo, Todd Haynes for creating this very skilful work for us to revel in.

Rating: *****

Mysterious Skin (2004)

I hate it when they look like Tarzan but sound like Jane.


The genesis of me watching writer/director Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin was that I was in a forum and people were talking about Joseph Gordon Levitt’s performance in that movie. It had me intrigued to see it with his career going up with his Golden Globe nominated performance in (500) Days of Summer and being in Inception, which I plan to see. Hearing that this movie was tough to watch is an understatement, it was painfully derivative that I pity the actors in this movie.

The movie revolves around two boys Brian Lackey (George Webster) and Neil McCormick (Chase Ellison) beginning in 1981, when they were nine. Brian is an ordinary dorky kid with Jeffery Dahmer glasses that suffers from nightmares, frequent nosebleeds and constant blackouts. He doesn’t know why they are happening. I wasn’t until one night when he is with his mom (Lisa Long) and sister, Deborah (Rachael Nastassja Kraft) are visited by a UFO on their roof.

Neil is the complete opposite. He comes from a broke home with his mother (Elisabeth Shue) is going out with different guys every night. Neil finds himself attracted to the Marlboro Man types that his mom brings home. When his mom enlists Neil into pee-wee baseball, Neil becomes infatuated with the Coach (Bill Sage). The feeling is mutual when Neil becomes the star player of the team. He is invited to the Coach’s house where he grooms and seduces Neil.

Brian, now Brady Corbet, grows up to be a bright young man, but he is haunted by his experience when he was younger. He wants to find answers to questions that he seeks. Looking at the television one day on a program called “World of Mystery”; Brian watched the story of Avalyn Friesen (Mary Lynn Rajskub) who recounted her experience being abducted. He tries to seek her out to bond over their shared experiences.

Neil, now Joseph Gordon Levitt, grows up to be a hustler for older men which doesn’t sit too well with his childhood friend, Wendy (Michelle Trachtenberg) who is constantly worried about his safety and his health sleeping with random men who pick him up. Neil’s other gay friend, Eric (Jeffrey Licon) has a little crush on him, but he knows nothing with happen between them because Neil is focused on making money. It seems like these two stories are different, but it intersects in the most mundane way possible.

I am baffled about the praise that has been bestowed upon this movie. It’s ranked in the movie seventies on IMDb and Metacritic. Personally, I was pissed off at the movie for perpetuating gay stereotypes. Being a gay man myself, I hate it when a kid is molested or raped, they turn out gay. That is not always the case. For some reason, they have to be a hustler craving for male attention.

I am pissed off at the “mystery” of this movie. There is no mystery. I knew what was going to happen before it did. It was like the director was talking down to the audience. I was not swept up by the narrative to care about the obvious ending. Sure, it was sad and disgusting, but I was not happy with the movie. Neil is not the brightest bulb in the pack, but he should have some common sense about the Johns he brings home. He’s not the greatest hustler ever. I don’t know why guys went for him. Wasn’t it because he looked like a prepubescent kid?

The whole storyline with Brian was completely one side and poorly done. I thought the movie was about Neil’s journey. He is on the poster and everything. I thought Neil was toying with the audience with his voice-overs, but it was suppose to be integral to the ending of the movie.

Judgment: I cannot recommend this movie. If you want to see a movie this subject done better, I would suggest L.I.E.

Rating: *1/2

Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom (2008)

Now listen up. Life is the script, Noah. You’re the writer of your own life. It’s time to take control.

— Brandy

I was a big fan of the Logo television show Noah’s Arc for its short two season run when it was unceremoniously “cancelled”. (See this is why you suck now, Logo.) I was happy that the big screen version of the show, Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom was released in the fall of 2008. I wanted to see it, but it didn’t have a wide release. Boo.

For the ninety percent of the population who don’t know about this show, let me give you a crash course. It’s the black gay version of Sex and the City. It follows four gay longtime friends: Noah (Darryl Stephens), the screenwriter and the central character of the group that has a unique sense of style. Next, is Alex (Rodney Chester), the outspoken divo of the group and HIV/AIDS advocate. There is Ricky (Christian Vincent), who is the manwhore of the group and owner of his own clothing store. Lastly there is the uptight patriarch of the group, Chance (Doug Spearman) who is a university professor.

The gang is in Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend, a long away from LA for the upcoming wedding of Noah and his boyfriend, Wade (Jensen Atwood) who were on/off throughout the series when a terrible accident changed things for the couple. Noah nursed Wade back to health between the season two finale and the start of this movie.

All of the friends are holed up in Wade’s family house, the Robinson House. Alex, Ricky and Chance are not hopeful about the speedy marriage between Noah and Wade, because of the accident.

Alex works himself into a tizzy coordinating the wedding that he has to take caffeine pills to keep up with demand. He skypes with his husband, Trey (Gregory Keith) who is at home with their newly adopted Ethiopian baby, Ojemodupe (Trevor Josiah Thomas) aka OJ.

Chance is having problems with his marriage to Eddie (Jonathan Julian) when one of Chance’s students, Brandon (Gary LeRoi Gray) who has a crush on him tags along with Ricky.

During their time in the house, the seeming stable relationships are thrown into turmoil when LA couldn’t stay their when Noah’s boss, Brandy (Jennia Fredrique) is constantly blowing up his phone asking for another rewrite of script starring a closted rapped named Baby Gat (Jason Steed) that is interested in Noah. He is the only one that is interested in him, Ricky is also harboring feelings for Noah ever since they first met from a failed hookup.

This movie is about being true to yourself, be true to who you love, be honest and all that mushy stuff. The movie is melodramatic with everybody’s relationship has to be in trouble to stretch out in order to fill a feature length movie, but I still enjoy it. I enjoyed that I had the chance to see this characters that I grown to love back together.

Judgment: I can’t recommend this movie unless you have seen both seasons before watching this.

Rating: ***1/2

A Single Man (2009)

Renounced fashion designer that revitalized the Gucci brand name, Tom Ford is parlaying his expertise to the big screen with his feature film debut, A Single Man based on the novel of same name by Christopher Ishwerwood.  I have been looking forward for this movie when the film received glowing reviews when it was screened at the Toronto Film Festival. The Weinstein Company picked it up and I eagerly anticipated this movie for when it came out. I went to the first matinee screening today. This movie is a sight to behold that will connect with anybody that has ever lost love.

Colin Firth gives a masterfully understated performance as George Falconer, an aging English professor that is contemplating suicide. He lives a solitary existence when his partner of sixteen years, Jim (Matthew Goode) suddenly died of car crash eight months earlier. Without the love of his life there with him, George’s life is filled with uncomfortable silences.

Friday, November 30, 1962 is the day that we focus on. George wakes up to put on his perfectly tailored suit to create the façade of a normal man in society. It is like his suit of armor. He longingly stares out in space at the moments of his former life with Jim that comes in flashbacks. The thought of death in his mind lingers as he looks at his neighbors, the Strucks (Teddy Sears, Ginnifer Goodwin, Ryan Simpkins, Paul Butler, Aaron Sanders) living the “American dream.”

George’s childhood friend/next-door neighbor from London, Charley (Julianne Moore) constantly bothers him with her ringing him before he goes to work. She is drunk, which is typical for her. As George goes about his day, he starts to get his affairs in order when he does the deed later on that night.

In his class, he speaks to his students about fear. The setting takes places during the Cuban Missile Crisis where some Americans like George’s colleague, Grant (Lee Pace) fears the Russians are coming. He makes a case that fear is everywhere. Being a gay man in the 60s, you have be discreet. Be careful about being found out.

After class, one of his wide-eyed students approaches George, Kenny (Nicholas Hoult) with his fuzzy white sweater and his deep blue eyes. He asks his professor about how he taught the lesson. George is little annoyed the probing questions that Kenny is asking.

George’s ultimate goal is to have his affairs in order. That everyone in his life is cared for before he dies.

First of all, this movie is simply gorgeous with the stylized hues of the blacks and whites. The film felt authentic with the drab colors saturating the screen. The costumes were spectacular and it makes you wonder how Charley would fix herself flawlessly when she is half in the bag. The biggest highlight of the film is the score by Abel Korzeniowski. The way the music swells and interweaves in and out of the scenes were so good.

Some people would be put off by the overt homosexuality displayed in the movie. You should know what you are getting before putting your ten dollars down. I heard about bunch of heavy sighs with the long bouts of silence. It’s supposed to make you uncomfortable, to make you feel like George who no longer wants to exist in the world.

I did have a problem with the extreme close-ups of lips, eyes, hair, or flowers. I understand that when someone is on the brink that they would see the world in different way, but it was a little bit of overkill. Nicholas Hoult’s performance was a bit annoying. Researching this movie, he was cast a couple of days before the movie was supposed to start. It shows. I thought that he was wooden. I loved him in About a Boy, but this was not his best work.

Judgment: This movie will give you an eye-gasm. It’s so beautiful.

Rating: ****1/2

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Humpday (2009)

Humpday was a movie that was featured at 2009 Sundance Film Festival and received good buzz from it. I heard the premise of the movie and it was interesting to me, which I will explain in my review. I did not come near me during last year. This movie crept in the top ten movies of year lists with the hosts of Filmspotting. This movie is described as a “mumblecore” film. I have not idea what the fuck that means. On the surface it’s a bromance gone way too far, but it’s a story about finding kinship with other person.

A young married Seattle couple is awakened at the middle of the night by a knock on their door. Ben (Mark Duplass) finds out it’s his old friend, Andrew (Joshua Leonard) came back to town after spending time in Mexico City after their college days. Ben’s wife, Anna (Alycia Delmore) doesn’t like the friend barging into their lives. They are still in the honeymoon phase, deciding whether to start a family or not.

Later on that day, Andrew meets a lesbian, more “pansexual” couple, Monica and Lily (Lynn Shelton, Tricia Williard). Andrew is into Monica. They invite him to their house to hang out. Andrew invites Ben to hang out with the gang. The trouble is that Anna wanted to cook dinner for the three of them so they could get to know each other. Straight-laced Ben tries to fit in with the bohemian crowd. The two of them forget the plans when they get drunk and stoned.

During the festivities, the conversation shifts to an amateur porn festival called “Humpfest”. It’s where a person makes a porn, it is screened for a bunch of people and it is quickly destroyed afterwards. Andrew is content on making one. Ben calls bullshit on Andrew’s plans to make an “artistic erotic art” film. Ben has an idea of doing something completely different and unexpected. Andrews think he should have Ben co-star in the porn with him. It’s two straight guys having sex with each other on camera that Sunday, which is two days away. No big deal.

The next morning, Anna is pissed at them, more at Ben for blowing her off. Ben recounts that the evening was his time to unwind and that he should be allowed that liberty once in awhile. She kinda understands, but she is still mad at him.

During a one-on-one basketball game, the tension between the best friends comes to a head. Getting over their hangover, they talk about their little project they were drunk. They have weirdness between them. They convinced themselves that they are making art, instead of testing each other’s limits. A major hurdle is telling Anna about their venture together.

2009 was the year of the bromantic comedy. This film took it to a completely new level of gay adjacent. This movie was more than two guys wanting to have a man on man consensual rape with each other. They actually wanted to get back the friendship that they lost all those years ago. It’s a bit refreshing.

I don’t get the motivations of Ben and Andrew. This person blows into town after “x” number of years and on whim you decide to have sex on film. Andrew confesses to Anna that he was mad at Ben for bailing on him after college. They were supposed to go on a global excursion together that didn’t happen. Now, they decide to bone each other. Is the director Lynn Shelton trying to break down conformity? Nobody could be 100% heterosexual or homosexual? Everybody should open themselves up to other possibilities?

Judgment: An interesting looks at male bonding taken to a different level.

Rating: ****

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