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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is probably a little closer to a 5.5 or so on my own rating
criteria (I give very few films an 8 or higher), mainly because it's so
slim and "movie of the week/television situation comedy" in its
orientation, except for the interracial aspect of the main couple and
that it's about two men. It was very amusing and the audience I saw it
with (a highly predominantly gay and male audience during the 2007
Outfest film festival in Los Angeles) certainly enjoyed the film and
was laughing where they should have and doing so on many occasions, and
not laughing where they should not be doing so. The performances are
fine to excellent, the production values and good and the music is, for
the most part (except for the guitar/voice solo at towards the end)
The main problem is with the script: while definitely funny and with some nice bits, nearly every set up (from the weekend trysts with the office co-worker) to the "meet cute/drunk" of the two main leads, to the "stuck out of town" and forced to reacquaint themselves weekend (including the "eventually damaging video footage they themselves took of one another") and many more (including the death scene towards the end and the final event which cause the catharsis at the end of the movie), every single plot twist was so clearly designed to move the story alone (and only to move the story along), but it a very simplistic and easily telegraphed way.
That's not say the movie isn't enjoyable and that this writer/director, if he gets more opportunities to be involved with films, particularly perhaps if he worked with a co-writer or wrote the script from someone else's idea, could not make a very good, original and imaginative movie in the future.
Definitely enjoyable and worth a rental or the price of admission, but don't go expecting something unique or unusual.
I have to agree with most of the"Funny, but predictable" review. If the narrative line of a film is going to be predictable, the dialog writing must be sharp and inventive the entire length of the narrative. Unfortunately, some of the zingers and replies made one cringe--some very tired and stereotypical comebacks. Christopher Colquhoun as "Jonathan" was the strongest actor of all the leads--making the best of some mediocre dialog. Tyler Smart as "Poppy" had some of the best lines and delivery. Topher Campbell as "Randy" was very funny as the clueless straight boyfriend of "Jasmine". The direction of the movie was more like a television show, rather than a movie. I look forward to this writer/director's next film--as he seems to have potential in the romantic comedy genre.
........"How do YOU pronounce 'Happiness'?" (alternate title for this
2007 may just be considered a banner year for the release of two excellent gay films: one a romance ("Shelter"), the other ("O-H-D") a romantic comedy; one produced on this side of the Big Pond, one on the other side of that pond. Notably, what they have in common are decent production values, scripted stories that easily hold our interest, and male lead couples who'll keep your dreams alive and well. As for differences, I'll only mention that where "Shelter" takes us on an upliftingly romantic journey, "O-H-D" takes us on a fun-loving, romantic journey. And where the former film gives us that special "B-G-L-M", in the latter film the Brits give us the "B-G-F-I-L-M" (both an indoors and and outdoors one---Wow). Please note that "Shelter" has already been discussed by this reviewer/commenter elsewhere on this site, so I'll now leave with you just a few additional thoughts about this, to me, memorable English production. It so deserves NOT to be underrated/unrecognized.
Starting off with our two leads, we have good looking, blond and devilish Stephen Billington, playing David, who's kinda like that let's-have-a-ball, little boy who hasn't grown up yet. He's "Mr. Fun".......just over from the States, with the main goal of driving Englishman, Jonathan, both crazy and into bed. "J" on the other hand is the tall, hunky, sometimes-afraid-of-letting-loose marketing exec who is our "Mr. Serious" (a leanly well built and gorgeous Christopher Colquhoun). A lot of the fun you're going to have is in watching a smirky-grinning David merrily take him down (and I mean that in a "straight" way--Ha). While it's the sometimes-in-a-dither "J" we spend a little bit more time with, it is actually David who is the solid, hold-it-all-together core of this little duo. As in any relationship picture, there are going to be ups and downs, and these guys are terrific in giving us that back and forth, 'I-can-top-what-you're-doing' thing---while making us feel all the better for it. And if you think they're oh-so-verrry-good in giving us a tiff to remember, it'll be the making up afterward that's the real fun (and here's where that "B-G-F-I-L-M" thing comes in.....it's a real hoot and will have your mind humming because you've become so pleased with what you're watching---it's just one of those memorably happy film moments).
There is a very good supporting cast, everyone of whom it's not possible to mention. BUT........there is a little girl (Poppy) who comes up with a couple of "philosophical zingers" which are a riot and which let us know she's more grown up than any of the rest of them. Oh, oh, and then there's my favorite of the adult, supporting actresses......you know, the gal with the rose on her ass (no, make that 'arse'). (Lol).
Winding down here, my "Best of the Night" award has to go to Director/Writer Ian Poitier who, however he did it, has gotten Billington and Colquhoun to give us some of the best man-on-man "lip-lock" scenes you're going to see outside of gay porn. Way to go, Guys; that's usually the big downfall of other gay mainline films.
Lastly, "Happy M'Buki--M'Vuki" to each and everyone of you out there!
PS--Ah.....the "B-G-F-I-L-M" thing? Okay....well that simply stands for "Big Gay Falling In Love Montage" (thanks, Director Jonah Markowitz).
PPS--Oh.....yeah, and that "Happiness" bit? Dudes---if you can't speak French, you're never gonna get this one (Lol).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What a joy! Finally a really good gay movie about two mature, out gay
characters. They have jobs and responsibilities and don't live in San
Francisco or spend every night in a gay bar.
I have read the two actors in the roles of Jonathon and David identify as straight. No matter. They will totally convince you they are gay. Gay and finding themselves spinning a one night stand into a full blown love affair.
The nonsense about working in an ad agency to market a "happy pill" is as silly as it comes. It's just the hook that the director uses to tie these two together. The scenes of practical jokes, long walks, courtship and just talking in bed make these two of the most admirable gay characters ever. And, there's a happy ending! Not to be missed.
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