So about a week ago, a friend on Facebook asked around for some good movie recs and I happened across the thread, which steered me to Netflix. Now, Canadian Netflix is not like American Netflix. We have about half, *maybe* of what you Yanks have on your site, and a lot of it sort of sucks, so the gay romance selection is largely abysmal. If the movies are gay themed, the protagonists are angsty, haunted and broken men who don't deserve Happily Ever After, or don't believe they deserve it, and so sabotage themselves, sometimes literally, to death. It's depressing. Why are there not more well-acted, witty gay rom-coms out there?
In any case, I braved the wasteland of Netflix gay romance movies and found a few that looked like they had some potential and put them on my list. So far, I've watched three of them: The Perfect Wedding, E-Cupid and The Men Next Door.
This was my first pick. I'd noticed it before and it looked like it might be fun. The concept is kind of interesting, I guess. No more far-fetched than any other romantic comedy scenario, so let's run with it. Disillusioned guy downloads an app on his phone because he thinks he might want something new in his life beyond his seven-year relationship with his sweet, hard-working, dedicated, successful boyfriend. Poor guy.
[I don't believe I'm spoiling anything here, as the movie is pretty transparent and predictable] Even still, if you worry about that sort of thing, skip this next part.
The app proceeds to re-write his life, eventually showing him how he already has everything he's ever wanted. Cute. Massive suspension of disbelief, but ok, I'm in it to be entertained. The final verdict, though is that I think better actors might have managed to almost pull this fiasco off. The ones in the movie didn't sell it for me, probably because every time I was about to fall into the movie, a character began elucidating for me, explaining all the things the character was learning thorough his adventures, I guess in case I hadn't picked up on the underlying message on my own. it sort of annoyed me the way the movie preached like a two-by-four to the head. I felt a little bruised by the message, even if it was a really good one.
But all ended well, and I truly sympathized with the main couple navigating hard lives and trying to stay connected and in love in a world that just sort of runs you the hell over every time you stop and try to kiss your guy. So I ended up glad they worked it out.
This was my second viewing, and it was...cute. Happy. The acting was stiff and the plot was sort of puzzle-pieced together, like I was seeing the seams between each section, rather being shown a whole picture. Still, the main character was honourable and trying to live a better life, and the guy he fell for was truly sweet.
I have to say that I think my favourite character in the movie was the father. He was the kind of man everyone wants in their life, and no one ever wants to loose, especially to the cruelty of years and age. That part of the movie was bittersweet, but the love stories (it's about the gay couple, but there are three love stories taking place) were all touching and real.
This is, in fact, my favourite of the three movies, It's overacted in places, but overall, the performances are better than the other two. The story is a simple one, and the message is one I liked. That love is hard, you have to work at it and for it, and in the end, the love that lasts is the one that makes you comfortable, lets you be you, doesn't ask you to be other than you are.
After watching all of these, I wish one thing for these movies: bigger budgets. One of the most marked things, especially in the last one, was no extras. No background motion of life happening around these guys, and it sort left the movie feeling a little empty, like a work in progress. I think a bit more money would fill out the world with the rest of us who walk the same streets and share the lives of men flaling in and out of love. We all share one world, after all.