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Big Eden is a tiny fictional town in northwestern Montana, as Preston Sturges or Frank Capra might have envisioned it. Timber and Cowboy country. This is the story of Henry Hart, a successful New York Artist, who returns to the town of his childhood to care for the ailing grandfather who raised him. Back in Big Eden, Henry must come to terms with his relationship to Dean Stewart, his best friend from high School, as well as the object of his unrequited love. All these years Henry has been pining for a dream image of Dean from back then. This is also the story of Pike Dexter, the shy, unassuming Native American owner of the town's general store, who is as surprised as anyone to find himself falling in love with Henry. The people of Big Eden conspire and attempt to bring Henry and Pike together. Written by
Since I am from Great Falls (2nd largest town in Montana - about 34,000) and gay, many folks told me I'd love Big Eden. Overall, it's decently well acted, extremely well filmed and directed, but tends to be (mostly) unsurprising. However, there were a few emotional surprises (his best friends' thanksgiving confrontation that true love need not be sexually based) and, for me, more than a small element of truth.
While the other commentaries here are mostly accurate, I wanted to give a small view from an ex-Montanan who recently had to go back to care for and later bury his grandmother (hmm, seems like a plot line in there somewhere). The movie's portrayal of a gay accepting (but, as in the film, a nearly unspoken acceptance) Montana was pretty accurate.
When I came home to Montana, no one in my large extended family could not have known my "situation". However, while it wasn't addressed directly, it was clear that it wasn't a big deal. My family went out of their way to introduce me to other members of my "community", including a few cousins that i never had guessed. It seemed Montanans expend enough energy getting through day-to-day to forego taking precious time worrying about some label. Clearly there it was who you are, not what you are. And most importantly, could people depend on you.
So, while many people compare this movie to Northern Exposure (which I dearly loved), there is an element of truth beneath the fantasy. Kudos to a well done film
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