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David O'Neil, a plasterer and mature student Theo have been best mates for fourteen years and are practically inseparable. However, their friendship has become strained as Theo is about to move in with his long-term girlfriend, photographer Hannah. A raging jealousy awakes in David and he starts scheming to break up the loving couple using Hannah's insecurities against them. When the couple eventually separate David is in a quandary about his next move and is forced to confront his long-hidden homosexuality and feelings towards Theo. Eventually, David decides to reveal his sexual orientation and deep love for Theo very publicly by arranging for them both to appear as guests on Judith Adams' talk-show, "forgive and forget", with tragic consequences for their friendship and David's family. Written by
Mark Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
With the amount of gay writers, directors and actors (openly out or not), it's remarkable that there exists something of a dearth of really high quality gay themed movies. While it may be too much to expect Hollywood to come to the fore, the independents too have been surprisingly poor in this area. European cinema has dealt with gay issues in a far more successful manner. Faced with this situation, gay movies are often over praised simply because they've been made rather than for their intrinsic qualities. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" made over 30 years still overshadows just about any other gay themed movie made since then.
While "Forgive and Forget" certainly does have much going for it, it remains not entirely successful. What it suffers from is a certain pandering simplicity that has been so rampant in British movies for too long; the worst of these (despite their commercial success being "Billy Elliot" and "Full Monty"). "Forgive and Forget" has scenes which teeter on the brink of this ultimately insulting approach of the depiction of complex emotional states. (In all fairness I should mention the winning coming out drama "Get Real" as an outstanding exception.)
What saves the film and really what makes it a worthwhile experience are the two central performances by Steve John Sheppard and John Simm. Both give fully convincing, committed portrayals, despite dialog which is at times less than credible. The force of their acting compels one empathize with predicament of these characters.
Despite the flaws, "Forgive and Forget" is a memorable movie , well worth making the effort to seek out.
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