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I caught this film at a gay/lesbian film festival and was blown away. Every so often, a film comes out that is so original that you can't help but wonder why no one has ever thought of it before. "Hard Pill" asks this question: What would happen if a pill was invented that could turn a gay person straight? The answer is a lot more complicated than you think.
"Hard Pill" tell the story of Tim (played by Jonathan Slavin in an outstanding performance). Tim is openly gay but unhappy with his life. He has had bad luck with relationships and doesn't feel very hopeful that that his life will turn around. When Tim hears of a new study that can change sexual preference, he decides to get involved. Tim is convinced that being straight would be a whole lot easier. What he doesn't realize is the repercussions that this change will have on his relationships and life.
This independent film appears to have been made with a shoestring budget, which fortunately doesn't detract but actually makes things on screen seem that much more authentic; almost as if we are watching real life unfolding. Also strong is the occasional humor that helped lighten things up when the subject matter became heavy. The ending is also quite satisfying and believable, not only leading one to think about the issue of sexual orientation, but also the risks of experimental drugs in general for non medical necessities. If my friends and I are any indication, we talked about this film for several hours afterward and I was moved to write a review which I don't usually do unless I really love something (or hate something.)
Kudos to John Baumgarten for both writing and directing this thought provoking film. Hope to see a lot more from him in the future!
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