Regarding Billy (Video 2005) Poster

(2005 Video)

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Brilliant, flawed but brilliant
billy_dana12 March 2006
I was deeply moved by this great little gem of a movie. The acting, the story and the intention are brilliant. It's strange to me how little in modern film-making we have yet to really see how hard it can be to attempt to manage the coming of adulthood, deal with being gay and coming out, and still find relationships that matter to us. This film manages to address all of these in a gentle and approachable manner.

I could wish for another notch up on the film-making scale (whatever that is!) - the filming itself is fine, but it feels awkward and a little rough at points. I don't think it gets in the way of the story. Just would be nice if it was stronger.

I'm glad Mr. London made this film - a definite feather in his cap. And I'm glad I own it.
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Very decent movie.....
George11 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In the genre of direct to video, gay movies there is usually very little to praise about these types of movies except that it was made in the first place.

"Regarding Billy" is different.

My partner and I try to see almost all the independent gay movies we can and are almost always disappointed by them but this movie made us smile. For once there was a real story, a real romance and real acting! Billy and Dean's love and the reality of how hard it can be to come out was really portrayed well by both actors. It was nice to see a gay themed movie that relied on love not nudity and sex to tell the story. All three actors made us believe they were who they were and made us care about them.

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A Quiet, Tender Love Story Celebrates Family
gradyharp18 February 2006
Jeff London (The Last Year, And Then Came Summer) is a writer and director who takes on some tough subject matter about the ordinary men in gay life and fashions simple stories that, while not earth shattering, are delicate reminders of the non-sensational aspects of coming to grips with sexuality. In REGARDING BILLY, his best film to date, he has assembled a small cast of fine young actors (only three), and offers a film that for a $20,000. budget and two weeks of shooting time shows how sensitive little movies can be.

Opening inside a tent on a camping trip, we meet Billy (Ronnie Kerr) and Dean (Jason Van Eman) who have been best friends since childhood. Dean announces he has joined the military to address his life stance (his parents are long gone) and will be going to Iraq. Billy is obviously sad and both young men begin to tell each other something...'but it can wait until morning'. In the next scene Billy is seen with his mentally challenged sweet kid brother Johnny (Jack Sway) as they have returned from the funeral of their parents who have died in an accident. Billy comforts Johnny and moves back to the home he had left to care for his brother. While Dean is in Iraq he writes Billy and Billy fantasizes about Dean's returning home. When indeed Dean does come back from his tour of duty, injured irreparably in the war, Billy insists that Dean move in with the brothers. Despite the obvious new happiness of the three young men living together, there remains an underlying tension between Billy and Dean, a tension broken only by a moment of confession regarding feelings that is one of the more tender 'coming out' scenes yet filmed. The film ends as quietly as it begins with the power of love and extended family as the theme.

All three of the actors perform well despite a script that calls for excessive crying. Kerr and Van Eman are understated hunks that make the attraction and resolution of the plot completely credible. Yes, there are some awkward lines and shaky moments in the film, but the overall effect is one of a loving product that dares to be sentimental in the face of criticism because the creators obviously believe in the story. REGARDING BILLY is a refreshing change from the usual over the top gay films, a film more about core people than the peripheral characters usually in focus. Recommended. Grady Harp, February 06
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intimate and touching
yawnmower11 February 2006
Only 71 minutes long, this sweet little film has an engaging ensemble of three actors and a sympathetic musical score. Ronnie Kerr is perfect as Billy. He is genuine, childlike, honest, handsome, wistful, and well-built, with remarkably expressive eyes. Dean, his long-time best friend, announces unexpectedly that he has enlisted, and abruptly leaves home. Jason Van Eman plays Dean in a warm, forthright manner, and the two good-looking leads have a nice, playful – but very frustrating – friendship. Incapable of articulating their feelings, Dean departs with much left unsaid. By the time the injured Dean returns, Billy is caring for his learning-disabled younger brother, and the story really begins. The three young men learn to become a family and, though each has a handicap to deal with, their unerring love pre-ordains the powerful and intimate conclusion.

The film has its faults, to be sure, which would be more bothersome in a less engaging film. There is a lot of crying, for example, but the actors themselves laugh about this excess in the commentary track. On a purely physical level, one could wish for Billy to take his shirt off at least once, considering the look of his arms and chest in his tight T-shirt!

But the sincerity, skill, and earnestness of the actors overrides any flaws. This is a highly personal statement by writer/director Jeff London and his quietly seductive cast.
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redracer9517 November 2006
Nothing is perfect (except maybe Jason Van Eman) so I can't rate 10 stars. A very sweet film. Warm, touching, real. There was a little awkwardness here and there, some of the scenes went a little too long with no real reason...there was maybe too much emotion at times, but all in all, a good little movie to watch with your special someone, gay or straight.

One of the better gay oriented indie films that I've seen. And no swearing, drug use, alcoholism or sex. A rare thing in almost any movie these days, but very rare for a movie with a gay male couple as the lead characters. For a change, two gay men are portrayed without the "always having sex" angle. Seems that Hollywood has to propagate that stereotype; if there's gay, there's immediately clothes coming off and gratuitous sex going on. Not here.

Thanks Jeff London, for showing a couple of gay men as just that. Men. Leading everyday lives with everyday worries and trials. Everyday happiness and love. Many could learn a lot by watching this movie. Give it a shot. It's a very short film and leaves you wanting more, but just suffice it to say, I ended it with all three of them living happily ever after.

*another gay feelgood movie with similar undertones as Regarding Billy, but with a little sex thrown in: "Get Your Stuff" Give it a look too.
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Definitely worth a watch
stl464617 February 2006
Yawnmower is absolutely correct. Certainly there are flaws but so what? For an independent film, it's a nice story and a good effort. Dean and Billy are both nice to look at, which certainly makes it easy on the eyes. Both of the actors give a warm and caring performance even if the lines are sometimes simple. Their acting isn't Oscar-worthy but I sure found myself caring about the characters and rooting for them. It was so pleasant watching a story about two gay characters that didn't involve boring drug use or sex for the sake of it. Watch this film. Don't expect too much and you might find yourself feeling pretty good when it's over.
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I liked this film better than Brokeback Mountain
dnhatch-17 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this was a beautiful film that told a quiet story about utterly decent people. It's about family and love and caring, and there's more Christian charity in this gay love story than in all the moralizing of the entire Religious Right. I deeply cared about these characters, and I was touched by their sweetness. I feel richer for having met them.

The performances were as quiet and naturalistic as the story itself. While there was a lot of sadness in the story, the overarching mood of the story was one of hope and comfort.

It was refreshing to see a film depict a gay relationship in such an understated way.
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a lovely little movie which leaves you with a smile and hope.
mtaffeot17 April 2006
This was really a beautiful little story of love and family.

Dean, played by Jason Van Eman, leaves his best friend Billy, played by Ronnie Kerr, and goes off to The Gulf War. Billy has to return home and look after his mentally retarded younger brother. Several years later Dean returns from the war and comes to live with them. What unfolds from there is a touching story of two best friends who are secretly in love with each other and the process of them facing up to this fact.

I found myself really enjoying this movie and gladly purchased it to add to my small collection of wonderful gay movies. Sure, this movie is no Brokeback Mountain, a masterpiece, but it is very sweet and you feel good after watching it. Sure there are flaws, but on such a small budget of $20,000 I believe, a pretty go movie was produced. Both men are very attractive, especially Jason Van Eman who played Dean, with the most beautiful smile. And the amazing chemistry between the two actors gave their relationship 100% credibility. The two kissing scenes between the men, I wish there were more, was wonderful and authentic. Their acting was also pretty convincing, especially with the shoestring budget the actors had to work with. I hope to see both these men in future projects.

If you're in the mood for a touching and sweet little movie, rent Regarding Billy. I think it will leave you with a smile.
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Well worth viewing
Lawrence McFarland15 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This was a sweet movie and refreshing in so many ways. Billy's best friend, Dean,leaves for the armed forces and soon after, Billy must return home and dedicates himself to raise his mentally challenged younger brother. The affection he has for the brother is very loving and caring. It's obvious there's an emptiness in his own life and he dreams of his friend. When Dean returns from the war, injured Billy's loving ways continue. It's quite refreshing to find a movie filled with so much love and no gratuitous purient scenes. It reminds me of a smaller version of "Big Eden" and shows that gays can make a loving, respectable family.
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A wonderful little love story that soothes your heart.
mskbr5018 February 2007
This is one of the sweetest, most touching movies I have ever seen. Even with its production flaws, which aren't many considering that the director/producer only spent $20,000 to make it in a 2 week period. The actors are amazing. All three. First, Jack Sway is very convincing as the mentally challenged brother, Johnny. Ronnie Kerr plays his brother Billy with loving warmth even though he is dealing with tragedy and loss and deeply repressed feelings about his best friend, Dean. Jason Van Eman plays Dean. His performance will move you as the story progresses and surprise and reward you as the plot moves to its conclusion. Love is the theme of this little movie and will soothe any heartache and give the viewer confidence that love conquers all. If you are a hopeless romantic like myself please rent or buy this movie. You will never regret it and probably fall in love with it. I have!
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