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Role/Play (2010)

 -  Drama  -  3 June 2010 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 504 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 11 critic

A recently outed soap opera actor crosses paths with a recently divorced gay marriage activist, forcing them to confront the price of fame and the fickle nature of celebrity within the gay community.

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Storyline

A recently outed soap opera actor crosses paths with a recently divorced gay marriage activist, forcing them to confront the price of fame and the fickle nature of celebrity within the gay community.

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Who are you pretending to be?

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Drama

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3 June 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jeux de rôle  »

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Way Out
by Jake Monaco
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User Reviews

 
The Good, the Bad and the Pale
8 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had the opportunity to see this film on the last night of a Gay Film Festival, and I am sure that having seen 10+ films before this one has influenced some of my opinions of what audiences can expect in a 'good gay film' these days.

Positive things about the film: The film's storyline is rather predictable, and it doesn't try to drop any plot bombshells, (this is NOT The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!) allowing the viewer to focus on the characters and the dialog instead of plot points. Think of My Dinner with Andre around a pool with and without speedos. The Director was obviously comfortable in this genre, along with the actors.

On the Less Positive side: this comfort seemed to mean that neither the director or the actors felt the need to push for strong performances. With the exception of the David Pevsner as Alex the Innkeeper, the performances seemed phoned in, and as predictable as the plot. In several scenes, I thought they were doing a sendup of a soap opera scene as an inside joke for the lead character, an ex-soap star, because of the staid dialog, blocking and camera shots.

Areas for improvement: Following up on my previous comment --- Move the darned camera! For 20 years Law & Order found a way to float the camera and bring some visual energy to a dialog-heavy scene, and audiences have come to like/want that. I can only remember 10 shots in this film that had any significant movement in them. The rest were all locked off shots. There are options between locked-off sticks shots and swish pans.

The score was well done, and not overpowering overall, except in areas where it was too loud for the dialog. Some test screenings should even out these areas. Additional screenings will also help the editor learn where he needs to allow for laugh time, so dialog isn't missed by the audience, and where to tighten up the dialog when the laughs don't come.

There were no technical notes given, but assuming it was shot with a Red, the DP did a credible job, especially given that he had 8 days to shoot everything. I wish he had taken more time to establish mood rather than just softly lighting the scenes. There was very little texture in the lighting. And I really wish he had taken time to collaborate with the MakeUp artist and the color correction guys in post - because the actors ALL looked like cadavers! Too much pale makeup, not enough color, not enough filtering! Both leads (and Mr Pevsner) had nice bodies and nice butts. A few tan lines would have lent some warmth and personality to them. Likewise, facial wrinkles can create character, but I shouldn't be able to count them to get through a boring scene. Hi-def quality in the wrong hands can be a dangerous weapon.

My bottom line is that this was a good effort film, with some very funny lines stuck in among some really tedious dialog. It could have been 15 minutes shorter, and have moved faster throughout. I wanted to see (or at least hear) Jim J Bullock one more time at the end to signal a return to 'the real world'. It's sad to start a subplot like JJB and then not pay it off. (Was it intentional to have him look like he was wearing all the makeup Tami Faye left him?)

Finally, I hope that if there is a part 2 in the wings, they find a way to have 12 shoot days instead of 8. Let the DP make it NOT look like a documentary, and let the actor become more natural with the characters and less directed.


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