|Index||8 reviews in total|
How can it be that this brilliantly crafted, beautifully written and
perfectly acted film is without distribution- still?
I caught this film at a festival (Rehoboth Beach IFF) last year and would have seen it twice had I not caught its last showing. It's at times both hilarious and poignant and the family scenes ring so true and so funny that I consider 24 NIGHTS to be made of the anti-matter of another favorite slice-of-holiday-life film, Bob Clark's A CHRISTMAS STORY.
In 24 NIGHTS, writer-director Kieran Turner gives us a wonderful and unique perspective on love, family and Santa Claus through the eyes of memorably rich characters and with sharp dialogue and a really charming story.
I look forward to seeing this film again and again and to making it a regular Christmas 'watch' along with IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and the aforementioned A CHRISTMAS STORY.
Initially I was sorry we bought it and had wished we'd only rented it, but now having seen the entire flick, I realize it's a keeper and don't know if I should store it in my DVD library in the Gay film section or in the Holiday film section. At first it seems a little fluffy and badly filmed until you realize it's intended innocence and that the parts that appear badly filmed are flashbacks, like an old home movie or a distant memory that fades from it's true colors. It grows on you and is a welcome change from the boy meets boy - boy loses boy - boy gets boy back formula since you don't really know how it ends. The actors seem to be a little more professional and above the level that you normally see in films like this. It struck me that this might actually have been based on a true life event.
It's been nearly 14 years since I originally saw and reviewed this
film, and looking back, it's time to add more...
I did find a man as wonderfully romantic as Jonathan found. Oddly enough, I met him about four months after seeing the film, and now that it is available on DVD, we watch _24 Nights_ at least once a year as part of our Holiday tradition. For us, it ranks up there with old classics like _Miracle on 34th Street_ and _It's a Wonderful Life_; as well as modern classics like _Love Actually_; and even lovable campy movies like Olivia Newton-John's _A Mom for Christmas_. My partner and I a just suckers for great holiday films. This is one of our all-time favorites, and the soundtrack rocks.
Oh. And the DVD has the instructions for playing 45 Poker!
My Review from 1999: I've only had the pleasure of seeing this film once, but it's one I want to own and see time after time. I had gone to a rather dismal Gay/Lesbian film festival and had almost given up hope of finding a good film... then I saw-24 Nights-. It's quirky and fun and leaves you feeling really good. It kind of reminded me of -A Christmas Story- meets -Beautiful Thing-, but better. It manages to have a nostalgic feel and yet remain totally up to date. There's a brilliant scene where the characters are playing poker using 45's as their money--too funny. And the romance... wow... to find someone as romantic as Jonathon found... I wonder if Kieran Turner is that romantic...
I was thrilled finally to see a film with a gay protagonist that didn't
the de rigueur baggage which nearly every other "gay film" of the last few
years seems to include: drag queens, one-dimensional hag best friends,
all-consuming searches for sleazy sex, melodramatic "coming out" scenes or
AIDS crises. Many a good gay film has been made with these themes or
characters, but too often lately gay cinema has become preoccupied with
providing the above spectacle as a shorthand archetype -- in place of any
real substance or story.
24 Nights was funny, honest and moving precisely because the characters had actual personalities -- rather than simply the abbreviated (and grossly stereotypical) personality traits which inform nearly every gay character of recent films. In this movie, the sexuality of the characters (both gay and straight) is not the forefront of their stories, but merely one of the varied factors of their lives. The drama comes not from the object of the main character's lust, but from the journey he makes in coming to terms with the issues of his life and overcoming his obsession with the past.
The delightful surprise of the film is that all of the above is accomplished in a package that is truly hilarious in places while deeply moving in others. Turner's script and direction are peerless and the acting is wonderfully strong and heartfelt -- particularly Kevin Isola, Stephen Mailer and Aida Turturro, with a scathingly funny turn by Mary Louise Wilson.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I always enjoy gay movies with happy endings and this was one of the best endings. However, I figured out the ending by reading the description on the back of the DVD. I expected by the end of the movie that it would be obvious why Keith (instead of Toby)would be Jonathan's "true love." It didn't happen. We saw Keith fall in love with Jonathan but it wasn't until the last scene that we had a clue (besides the box description) that Jonathan was in love with Keith. Still, it gives us all a sense that a true love is waiting for us, and in that, it was a really good movie.
Although this is hardly the greatest film ever made. it was my favourite of the ones I went to see in the recent Gay Film Festival here in Wellington. I think the main reason was that it was such an ordinary film, about characters who just happened to be gay, but, with relatively few changes to the plot could have been about straight relationships. So it is typical of the genre the American romantic comedy, though fortunately not as sentimental as these can sometimes be (sorry, but we Antipodeans like a little bite to our comedies!). Also, not having any "big names" in the cast, it has to rely on a set of believable characters, who were mostly well acted. Otherwise it is typical of the genre, with the usual "who will end up with whom and you can bet it won't be as they intended" type of story-line. So go & see it, and I hope the video or DVD comes out soon.
Where has this film been hiding? It turned out to be the best DVD i ever took a chance on. "24 Nights" has bumped "A Christmas Story" off my number one Christmas viewing list. I cannot wait to see what Mr.Turner will do with Easter, I'll be there.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Simply put, even for this fog city girl, this put tacky gay actors I know up on a pedestal. The production was poor, and even some good one liners, and funny situations couldn't save this movie. The actress who played the sister had the most talent of the main cast, she was pretty funny, as well as the bookstore scenes, otherwise LOSER!! I'd like to see more movies with casts and themes with GLBT members, but with acting talent, good production and camera work, a director who know when to say "cut!", and better writers. Santa would want it that way. Only George Bush and his cabinet deserve a copy of this movie in their stockings this year, coal would give them heat and they don't deserve that.
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