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Apr. 3rd, 2011

andrew potter

elisa_rolle

Under One Roof (2002) directed by Todd Wilson

It's Sex and the City meets The Wedding Banquet for young San Franciscan Daniel Chang, living at home with his clueless, traditional mother.

Director: Todd Wilson
with:
Jay Wong ... Daniel Chang
James Marks ... Robert

The idea is good, the realization maybe a little low budget, but at least the romance feeling of the movie was preserved. Daniel is really a cute guy, a little nerdy, a lot sweet; such sweetness is well matched into Robert, country boy who moves to big city and rent a room from Daniel's mother. If being gay and in the closet while living with your mother was possible until then, now Daniel has temptation under the same roof, a temptation that is more than willing to help Daniel out of the closet. I liked the romantic feeling of the movie, and also that basically it remained light: Robert's relationship with his own family is good, and his own mother knows about her son's homosexuality and is supporting; but also Daniel, when it will be the time, will not have so much trouble, that is since, in the end, both mothers love deeply their sons. One thing I didn't understand, but in the end it was more funny than anything else, is the free nakedness all over the movie: not only Daniel, but also a lot of supporting characters were not shy with their naked flesh... as I said, since it was done with a litght tone, it was more funny than sexy.

 

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http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1268793.html
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Mar. 27th, 2011

andrew potter

elisa_rolle

All Over the Guy (2001) directed by Julie Davis

"All Over The Guy" is a contemporary romantic comedy about the quest to find the "one" when "the one" doesn't know he's the "one." It explores the unlikely pairing of two 20-somethings thrown together by their respective best friends in hopes of igniting their own romance. They do everything they can to NOT fall in love, but finally they overcome the dysfunction of their parents and surrender to their hearts.

Director: Julie Davis
with:
Dan Bucatinsky ... Eli Wyckoff
Richard Ruccolo ... Tom

All Over the Guy is probably one of the nicest gay romantic comedy I have never seen, I think I like everything of it, plot, cast, setting... everything. Even if the tagline, and the movie posted, hint to a double plot about a straight and a gay couple, and usually this leads to haveing the gay couple "suffering" for center stage, here instead the straight couple is only a supporter, and a matchmaker, to the gay couple made of Eli and Tom, who are respectively, Brett and Jackie's best friends. They are totally unmatchable, Eli the nerd and Tom the jock, but indeed they will discover that, aside from being different on a physical level, they totally match on an heart one. Both of them grown up in a family that is not exactly your perfect ad family, suburban home and 2 kids and a dog, but in a way, they overcame that to become self-conscious gay men. Being gay is absolutely not their problem, find a long-term partner that is another story. This is another point I really like: the relationship between Eli and Tom moves through the different stages, boy meets boy, boy has sex with boy, boy loves boy, without guilty sense or drama or self-punishment. Along the path a stellar cast of supporting characters (like Christina Ricci and Lisa Kudrow) will help them come to term with this new-found love.

 

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http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1264008.html

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Mar. 20th, 2011

andrew potter

elisa_rolle

Km.0 (2000) directed by Yolanda García Serrano & Juan Luis Iborra

A comedic look at the love lives of 14 different people and how they interconnect during one hot August afternoon around the Plaza del Sol in Madrid, Spain.

Directors: Yolanda García Serrano & Juan Luis Iborra
with:
Miquel García Borda ... Benjamín (as Miquel García)
Víctor Ullate Jr. ... Bruno

There are different pairs in this movie, a student with a flamenco dancer, a middle age lady with a gigolo, an actress with a director, a young man with a whore, a business man with a man cruising for gay dates, a young girl with a policeman and a bartender with the sister of his fiance. All of them in a way or the other will meet at Km. 0, a central place of Madrid, and more or less all of them will meet with the wrong partner that in the end will prove to be the perfect one.

The only real "gay" couple is Benjamin and Bruno, meeting by chance while Bruno was supposed to be the one night stand of someone else. Benjamin claims to be interested only in sex, but when Bruno is ready to go, after their trist, Benjamin comes out like the romantic man he is, only that Bruno has committment issues he will need to overcome.

I quite liked also the pair about the middle age woman with the gigolo. Both of them are more deep than expected. But truth be told all the couples are nice on their own, with an interesting story that you can easily follow and understand, something difficult to manage having only 1 hour and half, 7 couples and 14 characters.

Nice movie, not strictly gay; in a way a proof that in Spain being gay is "ordinary", there is not prejudice, or at least not in this movie.

 

to read more:

http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1259693.html

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Mar. 13th, 2011

andrew potter

elisa_rolle

Get Real (1998) directed by Simon Shore

A tenderly romantic coming-of-age story as two boys in a British school fall in love.

Director: Simon Shore
with:
Ben Silverstone ... Steven Carter
Brad Gorton ... John Dixon

This was a very good gay teen story, romantic and not too dramatic. Giving the year, 1998, and the setting, UK, I'm not surprise the movie is not entirely "happily ever after", UK movies tend to be a little more realistic and not really light, but in any case Steven and John share their romantic high school romance and maybe for Steven it will be a nice love story he will sweetly remember when he will be older. On the contrary of many gay teen characters of other movies, at 16 years old Steven is sexually active and even if he is not able to find a boyfriend (living in a little town and being gay is not easy), he cruises the public park and the near woods: not really safe, but for sure a place where he can at least unload a bit of energy. Here he finds John, all-jock-beautiful-bod-wet-dream student at his same high school. Even if John seems older and more mature than Steven, he is instead still in that phase when he doesn't know how to address his sexual urges for his same sex. Steven will help John and at the same time he will realize his high school romance, but it's pretty clear that this cannot be a long-term relationship, at least not until John will be able to admit that what he is feeling for Steven is not a phase. I need to give credit to John though, even if he has not the courage to go public and admit it with everyone else, he has the courage to admit his love for Steven, and that I think is a good thing for Steven, what he will probably remember with fondness in the future.

   

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http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1255101.html

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Mar. 7th, 2011

andrew potter

elisa_rolle

Edge of Seventeen (1998) directed by David Moreton

A teenager copes with his sexuality on the last day of school in 1984. It shows him coping with being gay and being with friends.

Director: David Moreton
with:
Chris Stafford ... Eric
Andersen Gabrych ... Rod

Looking at this movie I had a double "flash-back" epiphany: I was indead a teenager in the '80 and I had a similar experience as what happens in the movie in the '90 (of course I was a "Maggie" not Eric or Rod). Anyway, I can say without doubt that the movie felt realistic and it was not at all exaggerated. The story of Eric trying to understand himself and his feelings, with all the trouble this self-searching can bring along if it's done in an age when you are still so unsure of everything, is probably the ordinary discovery journey a teenager undertakes, gay, lesbian or heterosexual. The second point I like of the movie is that, even if the plot is realistic, it's also romantic. Sure, Eric is not so lucky with his first love, but how many of us can say the same? Rod is a necessary stop in Eric's travel towards adulthood and maybe in retrospective Eric will be happy to have met him. Eric is innocent and romantic, but also a little bit horny, and Rod is a college student who probably doesn't want to commit to anything serious yet. Sure Eric will suffer for this unrequited love, but nothing his teenager heart will not be able to bear. Edge of Seventeen is a story about a teenager in love, who happens to be gay and so probably he has some trouble more than his same age fellow teenagers.

 

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http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1250639.html

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Feb. 13th, 2011

andrew potter

elisa_rolle

Everyone (2004) directed by Bill Marchant

The perfect gay couple are having a wedding in their backyard and they've invited the family and all their emotional baggage.

Director: Bill Marchant
with:
Matt Fentiman ... Ryan
Mark Hildreth ... Grant

The movie is classified as a "comedy" and sincerely this is not exactly the word I would use; true, the story is about a marriage, and marriages are always a mix of drama and fun, and indeed there is nothing of really tragic in the movie, not even the end, that can be an happily for now ending, but if you are approaching the movie expecting to see a sweet and romantic comedy, this is not what you will have. I liked Grant and Ryan, but they are not the perfect gay couple the blurb of this movie is selling you. They are two young men who have not yet balanced their relationship and I think Grant pushed Ryan to the marriage to have that security he seems to lack in his day-to-day life. Grant is the classical pretty boy, also a bit careless, but passionate and funny. Ryan is more your teddy bear type, even in his features that are "buttery": I think the director wanted us to have both a physical than emotional impression of him, since he displayed a naked Ryan in the first scene and indeed my first impression was, not bad body but a little "buttery". And strange thing, the director closes the movie with the same scene, but this time he adds Grant, and Grant instead is not buttery but more "sharp": it was like a proof more that Grant and Ryan are not two half of an apple, but more opposite who attracts.

     
Grant & Ryan

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Feb. 6th, 2011

andrew potter

elisa_rolle

Role / Play (2010) directed by Rob Williams

A recently outed soap opera actor crosses paths with a recently divorced gay marriage activist, forcing them to confront the price of fame and the fickle nature of celebrity within the gay community.

Director: Rob Williams
with:
Steve Callahan ... Graham Windsor
Matthew Montgomery ... Trey Reed

Role/Play is the first of the gay themed movies I started to follow last year that I have the chance to see and review; I pre-ordered my copy directly from the director, Rob Williams, and I received it last week and of course I immediately planned my private screenplay right for that night. I was all wired to like the movie for different reasons: I saw it growing, from pre-production to filming to post-production; it was a romance movie and the two main characters (Matthew Montgomery and Steve Callahan) are also a real-life couple, and so of course the chemistry between them had to be good; I trusted the director, Rob Williams, to give us an happily ever after, becuase he is among the few director of gay themed movie who almost always does that (Make the Yuletide Gay, Long-Term Relationship, Back Soon...). All of above expectations were met and something more.

Yes, this is a romance, and yes, this is an happily ever after romance (or at least an happily for now romance); yes, the chemistry between the characters is more than good, and the director knew well in "showing" it to us, and when I say showing it's in the true meaning of the word, just google the movie and enjoy the eye candy. Nor Matthew Montgomery or Steve Callahan are shy with their bodies, even if there is never full frontal nakedness (but full back? that a lot): the sex scene in bed are classy and hot and actually there is never a showing of the actual sex, but more the aftermath, and that is even better, since the aftermath is more romantic and intimate.

Basically this is a two men show, the setting is all in a place, a small gay resort in Palm Spring, and the action moves between the bedroom and the pool and some of the common areas of the resort. Indeed the only two supporting characters who have more than few sentences in the movie, the resort owner Alex (David Pevsner) and the guest Ricky (Brian Nolan) are also among the most interesting characters, well worthy probably of a story of their own.

There is a lot of talk between soap-opera actor Graham (Steve Callahan) and gay activist Trey (Matthew Montgomery), and yes, that was unexpected and welcomed: I think the fictional words between Graham and Trey are real thesis everyone who lives in the today show-business pondered and discussed.

Summing up: I really enjoy this movie, it met my expectations and it gave me something more I was not expecting, but that made me think, other than enjoy the eye candy.

 
Graham & Trey

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Jan. 30th, 2011

andrew potter

elisa_rolle

David's Birthday (Il Compleanno) (2009) directed by Marco Filiberti

A group of friends rent a magnificent house by the sea to spend the summer together. The unexpected arrival of Shary and Diego's son David sets something off in everyone, especially Matteo, an accomplished psychoanalyst who is married to Francesca. David's lonely and enigmatic uncle Leonard senses the reasons behind the dangerous tension, hidden beneath layers of silence and friendly banter. This vacation will indelibly mark everybody's life.

Director: Marco Filiberti
with:
Massimo Poggio ... Matteo
Thyago Alves ... David

This movie was a sensation in Italy because it was official selection in our most important, and most famous, movie festival (Venice) and because it has a gay theme that is still taboo here in Italy (despite everything people say or try). So I had to feature it, but I'm not sure I like the message. Oh I like the movie, how couldn't you like it? The setting is good (sometime wonderful), the acting is more than good (experienced actors with years of play acting behind) and the direction is at the same time "cultured" and "eye candy". What I probably didn't like is the message that being gay is a "dirty" impulse, something the progressive psychologist Matteo has to hide until the tragedy comes. True, Matteo is not in an easy situation, if you want to put obstacles on your way, he chose all of them: he is attracted/lusts for the 18 years old son of his best friend, he is married, he has a little child that still needs his figure... Not easy. I think other than the easy message of homosexuality as something that you have to hide, the second message, and probably what the director wanted to convey, was the contraposition between mind and body. Matteo prouded himself to be the intellectual one, sometime even a bit boring among his party friends; he was the perfect husband, the one who married the gentle woman who probably is not at his male intellectual level, but he is "training". And then Matteo is the first to fall in lust: his visceral attraction towards David is destructive and all physical, there is nothing of intellectual in that; sincerely David is not so clever or challenging on a mind level, even if his mother tells us he is a good student, but to me he came as a bit "simple". Beautiful, almost shockingly beautiful, but nothing more. By the way his best scene in the movie is the assolo masturbation, and this is not a joke: that scene is extremely erotic, probably one of the best scene of the movie, and David making love to himself in front of a mirror is the epitome of narcissism. So in the end, I recommend you to see the movie, but be aware, it's highly dramatic.

     
Matteo & David

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Jan. 23rd, 2011

andrew potter

elisa_rolle

Ander (2009) directed by Roberto Castón

A love story between a Basque farmer and a Peruvian immigrant.

Director: Roberto Castón
with:
Joxean Bengoetxea ... Ander
Christian Esquivel ... Jose

Ander was an unexpected romance, a nice surprise that was even better because I was ready to like it anyway. There are some movie that, from the beginning, have an heavy sad hood above them and nothing or no one can stop the drama that is leading the spectator towards the ending, absolutely not happily ever after ending. But these movies are good, for the setting, the plot, the actors, and so the spectator thinks, well, it's worth the viewing. That is exactly what I was thinking approaching Ander, a movie that was showcased not only in the most important LGBT movie festival all over the world, but also in "serious" movie festival like Berlin. I was thinking this is a movie you have to see despite the drama. And instead this is absolutely not a sad movie. All right, it's not light and happy, but there is a love story, it's slow and sincere and it has an happily ever after, a logic and believable happily ever after. And so why this movie hasn't had the word of mouth that other movies had? Probably because the main character are not exactly pretty (even if Jose...), probably since the only sex scene was good, but a bit awkard, and well, not romantic and the romance between the two main characters is displayed with small signs that are not physical. But friends this is a gay romance with an happily ever after! how many chances you have to see one?

 

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http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1219654.html

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Jan. 16th, 2011

andrew potter

elisa_rolle

Undertow (Contracorriente) (2009) directed by Javier Fuentes-León

An unusual ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside; a married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover within his town's rigid traditions.

Director: Javier Fuentes-León
with:
Manolo Cardona ... Santiago
Cristian Mercado ... Miguel

This is probably one of the most beautiful but sad gay themed movie I have seen this year. It's so romantic and so dramatic that I didn't know if I wanted to smile to the clear and wonderful love I could read in Mico and Tiago's eyes, or cry for the not happily ever after that I was obviously approaching.

It's not much of a spoiler, since it's in the blurb of the movie the production house released, but if you don't want to know more, stop read here. This is a ghost story, meaning that Tiago and Mico are lovers, and they are since they were young and Tiago was spending his summers in Mico's little seaside village. But now Mico is married and his wife is pregnant. It's clear that more than his wife Mico desperately loves the child they are waiting. Mico loves his wife with a love that you can have for a dear friend, he is a good husband, but there is no passion between them. The passion is all for Tiago, and their love is so strong that Tiago accepts to be Mico's little dirty secret, to share pieces of his life from afar and to endure the village's disapproval for the "maricon", as if he was the only one. The in a odd accident that is not clear if it's a suicide or a stupid accident (I think the second one), Tiago drowns, but his spirit is trapped with Mico. Why? Is their love so strong that Tiago doesn't want to leave Mico? maybe. Or maybe it's time for Mico to admit who he really loves, and with this admission, he will at the same time free and lose Tiago. And at this point I was in tears.

The setting is wonderful, the use of the characters' facial expression masterly, the feelings were conveyed more with images than words. Even the sex scenes between Tiago and Mico (and yes, for who loves a romance movie with also physical expression of that love, you will find it here) are more art than sex.

So I strongly recommend this movie, but bring with you a box of cleenex.

 

to read more:

http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1214056.html

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