John thinks he's got it all figured out. He's young, good looking and has always had a way with the ladies. After a break-up with his girlfriend, he moves west to Los Angeles for a fresh start. He is officially back on the market and looking to score. Crashing on his buddy Andy's couch is a comforting return to the college patterns of partying, womanizing and trash talk with the guys. However, reconnecting with his old flame Maddie proves to be surprising when she introduces him to her girlfriend, Anna. An aspiring photographer, John takes an entry-level position at an ad agency, determined to prove himself. Things get a little confusing when Paul, a successful executive at the firm, takes a special interest in John, and when John ends up in Paul's bed, his world is turned completely upside down. The Art of Being Straight explores one man's unexpected search for identity. More than just a story of seduction, John's journey to find himself proves to be almost more than he can handle, ... Written by
There is nothing particularly bad about the Art of Being Straight, but there is nothing especially good. Rachel Castillo does deliver a delightful performance as the lead character's ex-girlfriend who is now in a committed lesbian relationship, but dealing with her attraction to the new guy who moved in next-door. Unfortunately, the parallel main plot and lead performance given by the writer/director Jesse Rosen is not as engaging as he explores his own sexual identity. Mr. Rosen acting is lifeless and his character is dull. However, the film's tone is warm, the dialogue is sincere, and the movie smartly avoids heavy angst (for the most part) and tedious academic explorations of identity politics; however, it just ends up coming up short. The movie is neither intellectually provocative, nor particularly sexy (I am not arguing for more graphic sex scenes, but the few sex scenes which were shot are so insipid and boring they should have simply been left out). The film also occasionally stretches credulity when it needs to be believable. But most problematic is that the movie fails to deliver much of a message beyond "life isn't always black and white"--something other films have conveyed in a much more thoughtful and effective manner. In the end, the film is a mildly interesting "slice of life" flick, but mostly it's just a harmless bit of fluff. It's something worth catching for free on cable, if you have an empty hour on your hands, but it is nothing worth going out of your way to see.
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