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How refreshing to see a full-length gay film that is totally devoid of any stereotypical storyline: gay-bashing, AIDS, suicide,..., but true-to-life stories of gay couples taking their vacay at Provincetown (Ptown). In fact, it is the Provincetown Bear Festival(I have no idea it exists! see what one can learn from movie?). It is a contemporary love story between Tyler(Joe Conti)and Roger(Gerald McCullouch), who proposed, with the reluctance acceptance of the 23 years-old Tyler, where Roger is his first love! Well, it is also riding on legalization of gay marriage. Funny and lovely Kathy Najimy, Rose, plays the divorced mom of Brent(Stephen Guarino), and she owns a B&B in Ptown. There are no edits or censorship with this film, you will see it all and hear it all! I mean really really! and it goes there, and it is fun to watch!
If you were like me, who after seeing BearCity 1 and learning about the sequel spent the whole 2012 checking online when it will be out, you will be more than pleased. The sequel is exactly what you could expect if you've seen the first movie, just with more Brent and Fred (who deserve all the screen time they got and more, since they're still fantastic). I don't know how realistic is the whole bear scene description, since I'm a lesbian, or even if the awesome parents like those of Brent and Tyler even exist in a natural world, but it is definitely a feel-good, lighthearted movie with a lot of eye-candy if you're into bears. I'm not giving the movie the highest vote, let's face it, it's not The Godfather, but I will definitely rewatch the best scenes a few times more. (Btw, the movie's official page has a really cheap offer for streaming and downloading the movie, check it out!)
Having watched 'Bear City' kind of by accident last week and loving it so much I watched it again.. I sought out the sequel to find out what happened to these characters who I loved so much. I'm a female, Bi so not sure if I'm the target market of this film.. but whatever.. cos it doesn't matter. The story, character arcs and witty lines will appeal to everyone I believe. I was interested to see Kevin Smith in it, who I'm a fan of but he's a blink and miss it cameo. The guy who plays Brent is soooooooooo funny.. and a lot of his scenes with his partner and mum seem improvised.. I laughed, smiled quite a lot and even at one or two points got a strange lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.. You have to pay to stream/download this from the official website but its soooo worth it! Go watch.. enjoy :-))
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Musclebear Roger and his twinkish boyfriend Tyler (who became a couple
in the original 2010 "Bear City" film) decide to take advantage of NY's
new gay marriage bill, despite some initial misgivings on Tyler's part.
Since they and most of their friends had already planned to be in
Provincetown for "Bear Week," they decided to hold the nuptials there,
staying in a guest-house owned by Rose (Kathy Majimy), mother of their
friend Brent (Stebem Guarino, who is one of the few bright spots in
this misguided sequel). Lots going on amid the craziness in P-Town,
including Brent and his partner interviewing attendees for a "bear
documentary", and another couple making plans to open a new "bear bar"
The middle part of the film seems like a P-Town tourist promotion, with local attractions and huge crowds also (over)filled with marginal gay celebrities, from Kevin Smith to Frank DeCaro, Jason Stuart to Mike Ruiz, Mark Caruso and even Lt. Dan Choi, making this seem more like a vanity project than any attempt at a cohesive story. We do learn that, even within the bear community, there is an element of discrimination between "muscle bears" and their more portly brethren, except that both groups are equally unable to be monogamous in a relationship. Tyler meets a chubby bear he seems to develop a connection with, and Roger spends time with an ex he previously swore he never wanted to see again. SPOILER ALERT -- The ending was not what I was expecting, and somewhat disappointing, although I suppose it illustrated a valuable lesson ... that two men should not decide to get married simply because their state decides they now CAN do so.-- END SPOILER
Besides the casting issues, the film seems disjointed in terms of pacing, more a series of skits than telling a story. Some scenes clearly go on way too long, and add nothing to the film other than additional minutes. Some funny bits are milked too long (such as people calling Tyler's father, who is there for the ceremony, "Daddy", and how a threesome of bears next door needs a really large bed). Most of all, the assorted disagreements and uncomfortable confrontations often overshadow the camaraderie of the bear community, which was an important selling point in the original film.
As if the film doesn't have enough problems on its own, the movie makers are making it more difficult to obtain, by choosing to bypass all usual gay-friendly retailers, and only sell it directly via their website. (I suspect this may also be an attempt to keep it off sites where users provide reviews that could affect a decision to buy!) They further discourage sales by quoting inflated "list prices" and using a complicated (and seemining changing every week) series of discounts for the DVD, BlueRay, download and streaming, which few will have the patience to figure out. DVD has a "making of" featurette, deleted scenes, director commentary and music videos. Not rated, would be a heavy R for sexual content (No nudity). I'm somewhat generous in giving it five stars out of ten.
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