In the palm-shaded oasis of West Hollywood, we meet Dennis, a promising photographer. As he prepares to celebrate his twenty-eighth birthday, he laments, ' I can't decide if my friends are ...
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When 19-year-old gay-rights activist Tommy and 24-year-old Alan first meet in 1973, they find themselves on the opposite sides of the political coin. Despite their many differences, they ... See full summary »
Jeffrey, a young gay man in New York, decides that sex is too much and decides to become celibate. He immediately meets the man of his dreams and must decide whether or not love is worth ... See full summary »
Michael T. Weiss,
In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed.
In the palm-shaded oasis of West Hollywood, we meet Dennis, a promising photographer. As he prepares to celebrate his twenty-eighth birthday, he laments, ' I can't decide if my friends are the best or worst thing that ever happened to me.' The gang includes Benji, the punkish innocent with a penchant for gym bodies; Howie, the psychology grad student who thinks too much and lives too little; Cole, the charismatic actor who accidentally keeps stealing everybody's guy; Patrick, the cynical quipster, and Taylor, resident drama queen, who, until recently, prided himself on his long-term relationship. Providing sage advice and steady work is Jack, the beloved patriarch whose restaurant is a haven for them all. When tragedy strikes the group, the friendships are put to the test. Written by
The lives and loves of an LA softball team, comprised entirely of gay men.
Greg Berlanti's heartfelt drama seems a little timid in the wake of confrontational entries like "Queer as Folk", but the former producer and co-writer of TV's gay-friendly "Dawson's Creek" makes an otherwise auspicious directorial debut with this familiar account of several gay friends looking for love and companionship in vanity-driven Los Angeles. As one character puts it: "Gay men in LA are a bunch of 10's looking for an 11."
Essentially the tale of a Queer sports team comprised of staff and management at a popular restaurant run by elderly patriarch John Mahoney ("Frasier"), the film's paper-thin narrative is roused by a combination of lively dialogue and well-defined characters, played to perfection by a terrific cast, culled mostly from the New York stage: Ben Weber is the 'Plain Joe' whose inability to attract a boyfriend is due more to his lack of self-esteem than absence of personality; Dean Cain (Superman himself!) is a hunky aspiring actor who leaves a trail of broken hearts in his wake; punk-style Zach Braff portrays a gym-queen, wilfully blind to the dark side of gym culture; Matt McGrath and Justin Theroux are ex-lovers who can't seem to let go of one another; and Andrew Keegan is the cute new kid who stumbles into this disparate group whilst struggling to come to terms with his burgeoning sexuality. The unofficial pack-leader (Timothy Olyphant) is smart and sassy, and increasingly aware of the personal opportunities he's sacrificed in his relentless pursuit of casual sex with strangers.
The actors invigorate a fairly routine scenario, though Olyphant (whose demonic good looks have typecast him in too many villainous roles) dominates proceedings as a young man standing at the crossroads of his life, seeking confirmation of his own personal value. Mahoney is funny, wise and dignified as the Shakespeare-quoting softball coach, and Broadway singer-actor Billy Porter gets some of the best lines in a role that otherwise amounts to little more than comic relief. Beefcake is provided by supermodel-turned-actor Michael Bergin ("Baywatch: Hawaii") and Christian Kane (semi-regular on TV's "Angel") in cameo roles, and the lovely Kerr Smith appears briefly in one of the movie's best scenes. Watch out, too, for a memorable appearance by Jennifer Coolidge as a 'helpful' hair stylist who brings the house down with a single line of dialogue! However, a subplot involving Weber's sister (Mary McCormack) and her attempts to become a mother with long-term partner Nia Long is underdeveloped to the point of redundancy (memo to gay movie makers: if you're gonna include lesbians in these otherwise all-male offerings, do 'em properly or not at all!), and Cain's much-publicized 'kiss' with Keegan is coyly hidden by the angle at which it's filmed, a hideous cop-out (the eminently straight Olyphant has no such qualms - he kisses his male co-stars with reckless abandon!). Shot on location by cinematographer Paul Elliott (AND THE BAND PLAYED ON), the movie has the look and feel of a widescreen TV show, dominated by closeups and medium shots which invalidate Berlanti's use of the scope format.
Gay cinema doesn't really need another romantic comedy, but while "Broken Hearts" doesn't offer anything new, it's salvaged by snappy editing, a quickfire pace, and first-class performances by some of America's finest young actors. And thanks to a clever, throwaway bit of name-dropping, the movie offers fleeting confirmation - at last! - of the role played by sex-god Antonio Sabato Jr. in the fantasies of hormonally-charged gay teenagers everywhere! Been there, done that...
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