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|Another Gay Movie|
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E||
dir-scr Todd Stephens|
with Michael Carbonaro, Jonathan Chase, Jonah Blechman, Mitch Morris, Graham Norton, Scott Thompson, John Epperson, Ashlie Atkinson, Darryl Stephens, James Getzlaff, Matthew Rush, Richard Hatch
release US 28.Jul.06,
UK Nov.06 dvd
06/US TLA 1h32
Yikes: Chase, Morris, Carbonaro and Blechman
This American Pie spoof takes on just about every gay cliche imaginable. And then some. It's rude and chaotic and, for the right audience, hilarious.
The plot is simple: four high school friends vow to lose their virginity over the course of the summer. Andy (Carbonaro) is the nice guy with a crush on the foreign exchange teacher (Norton). Jarod (Chase) is the hunk who's got guys chasing him everywhere he goes. Nico (Blechman) is the camp queen who's never come out to his mother. And Griff (Morris) is the nerd with hidden, ahem, talents. Will they reach their goal before the big Labor Day Soiree thrown by their dyke pal Muffler (Atkinson)?
Obviously made on a low budget in a mad rush, this colourfully silly film doesn't miss a thing, poking gleeful fun at all things homosexual, from coming out scenes and internet chat to freaky fetishes and secret crushes. Like American Pie, the film features intrusive parents, porn stars, web cams, fart jokes and lots of embarrassing moments for our hero. Maybe they should have titled this film American Quiche.
Writer-director Stephens (see also Edge of Seventeen and Gypsy 83) avoids being overly clever and just has a lot of fun. He also keeps his sexy cast in various states of undress for much of the film's running time. And they all dive in bravely, giving each scene their all, no matter how ridiculous it is. Carbonaro is terrifically charming in the central role, and there's a superb sense of camaraderie between him and his friends. It's also good to see engaging supporting roles for the likes of Darryl Stephens (Noah's Arc) and James Getzlaff (Boy Meets Boy). Not to mention witty cameos for porn star Rush and Survivor winner Hatch.
This lively cast carries us along on sheer energy, so by the time it reaches the corny finale, we understand that all of the deeply meaningful lessons are just another part of the joke. At least we hope they are, because if Stephens is actually saying that it's worth waiting for love, then he's kind of undermining his whole point.
The 2021 Directors Cut
For the film's 15th anniversary, Todd Stephens has reinserted a few scenes so audiences can discover it all over again. But the thing that strikes you most this time around is how brave the film was, and still is, compared to today's painfully timid way of making movies about homosexuality. It's still relentlessly silly, overloaded with movie references and goofy gags. And they're genuinely smutty, never cutely so, raising laughs by telling it straight, as it were. There are also plenty of wonderful jaw-dropping surprises along the way. This includes a scandalous appearance from Graham Norton, before he achieved British National Treasure status. And a huge blast of heartfelt warmth that makes the movie thoroughly endearing.
|Matt, Philly: "I saw this last night at the Gay Film Festival in Philly last night. It is very funny especially with a gay audience. Not sure how straight people will feel about it, but for the gay audience it is a homerun. Yes it is over the top and out there but extremely funny." (Jul.06)|
|© 2006 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|