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Almost a short feature, this bright, relaxed Dutch film explores the repercussions from a houseguest who overstays his welcome. It's sharply written with an attention to detail that sharply brings out the characters. And it's directed with a sunny visual approach that makes the most of the handsome young cast. It's set in Amsterdam, where Pepijn and Sjors (Windhorst and Hassing) are a cheerful couple talking about places they've always wanted to visit on a long-planned round-the-world trip. Then Sjors invites his friend Cas (Meyer) to stay on their sofa for a few days, which extends as he looks for a place to live. Since Pepijn works at home, he begins to befriend Cas, although feelings of jealousy and attraction distract him from his upcoming deadlines. Meanwhile, their trip is delayed again, and Pepijn is waiting for the right time to ask his friend Mia (Wong-Loi-Sing) to be a surrogate mother for them. The film is produced to a high standard with an excellent cast, creating warm and natural chemistry between them even when the plot drifts toward melodrama. So when the main storyline takes the expected turn it doesn't feel forced. Along the way, the film touches on some deeper relationship issues between these two men. And where it goes is surprisingly thoughtful and moving.
Shot in black and white, this offbeat comedy begins with a frankly ludicrous opening sequence before settling into a heavily scripted discussion. Thankfully, the characters and topic are intriguing enough to hold the interest. It opens on the morning after, as best pals Danny and Brent (Nova and Lipshutz) wake up in bed together with blurry memories of the night before. Indeed, there's a third man in the bed with them, their friend Jared (Lawrence). What follows is an agonised discussion about what this means, although the conversation feels overwritten and contrived ("I bet this has totally ruined our friendship" or "I need you two as friends, not exes who hate me"). Colour flashbacks reveal a leather guy (Van Wye) egging them on, but it's unclear why they wouldn't remember everything clearly, as they're not that drunk. In other words, the whole thing feels rather contrived. And the discussion of whether they should be friends or lovers goes around in silly circles that only get genuinely meaningful when they move on to issues like the importance of social acceptance. But the script never digs beneath the surface. At least the good-looking actors have some fun playing these guys who simply make things a lot more difficult than they need to.
There's a loose, likeable tone to this short, although it also feels generic as it spins in circles over its short running time. It's basically just a set-up, as Nate (Ketcheson) arrives home from work to his boyfriend Alan (Salerno) cooking dinner. They've arranged for Malik (Went) to come around later for their first threesome, but Nate is feeling nervous about it. Alan tries to get him to relax, but nothing seems to be working. Oddly, the film itself feels as nervous as Nate. Because writer-director Guerin refuses to grapple with the feelings that are swirling around, this becomes merely a series of scenes in which Nate whinges and Alan cajoles, while Malik waits unseen. Some depth and honesty would have made it much more involving. Still, it's cute and funny, even as it remains superficial right to the end.
The fine folk at TLA have assembled three short films about threesomes here. Although it's a little out of balance, as the title film is basically a brief feature, and it has a depth and complexity that are missing from the other two, much shorter shorts. Still, at least all of them are looking at an issue that's becoming increasingly important, especially for gay men who are already living outside what is considered traditional. It's always good to talk.
6 votesGAY-THEMED SHORTS COLLECTIONS (9 lists)
list by Polsko
Published 1 year, 3 months ago
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