Brady (Sean Hoagland), who will shortly be going away to college, is a shy, introspective 18 year old, who moves to the coastal seaside town of Rock Haven with his overprotective, widowed ... See full summary »

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Brady (Sean Hoagland), who will shortly be going away to college, is a shy, introspective 18 year old, who moves to the coastal seaside town of Rock Haven with his overprotective, widowed mother Marty (Laura Jane Coles), who is setting up a Christian school nearby. He spends a lot of time on the beach, either reading the bible or staring at the waves crashing on shore, until he meets a neighbour's free- spirited visiting son, 19 year old Clifford (Owen Alabado). There is an instant attraction to each other, even though homosexuality conflicts with Brady's devoutly Christian beliefs. Brady has struggled with his feelings before and spends a lot of time showering, as if to scrub these feelings away. He seeks advice from his pastor (played by David Lewis, the director), who tries to reassure him by emphasising biblical texts which portray God as non-condemnatory love. Brady's mother, sensing that something is wrong, tries to fix him up with a nice Christian girl - who knows immediately ... Written by Zaga

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Drama

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21 June 2007 (USA)  »

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(DV 24p)

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1.78 : 1
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Sweet, romantic story ... but ENOUGH with the waves already!
7 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The plot of "Rock Haven" (2007) is simple and realistic, though far from original: is being gay an impossibility if you consider yourself a Christian as well?

Brady is a shy, introspective 18 year old spending the summer before going away to college in a small coast town in Northern California. He is there with his widowed mother, who is a devout Christian in the process of establishing a religious school for the local pastor. Brady spends most of his time either reading the bible or staring off at the waves crashing on shore, until he meets a neighbor's free- spirited visiting son, 19 year old Clifford. While we later find out that Brady had some early inklings that he was somewhat attracted to other boys, he never before felt drawn to anyone as he feels to Clifford, and the other boy makes it clear that the feeling is mutual. Sensing his apprehensions and inexperience, Clifford lets their relationship develop slowly over the course of the summer, and, although he kids Brady about being a "nerd" in many of his interests, is careful not to express a conflict with his religious upbringing and convictions.

A beautifully written story by director/writer David Lewis ("Under One Roof"), capably acted by a talented Bay Area cast. While the basic plot is not original, and the story development somewhat predictable, it is told in a well-paced, sweet and romantic manner that lets the viewer feel the emotions experienced by the characters. The one negative I must point out is Lewis' seeming obsession with numerous extended scenes of waves crashing on the beach (Waves wash out like past experiences, wash back to erase what was on the sand before, metaphor for life going on, new beginnings, yadda yadda yadda ... WE GET IT! The ocean should not have more screen time than the actors!) Other than that, I enjoyed the film and recommend it, especially for those who may be going through a similar dilemma.

DVD has deleted scenes, production stills and trailer. No director commentary, which would have been nice (I'd have loved to hear what he says about the ocean scenes. :)


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