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Enjoyable, and a notch above typical gay cinema
I feel a certain obligation to check out gay cinema from time to time. Both for my own pop culture knowledge, and just because I like to see if things have improved any since my last visit. Most independently produced gay-themed movies are amateurish and cheap looking. Sometimes that kinda works, and the material rises above its humble origins. Most of the time, the films are a struggle to get through.
I wanted to see this one mostly because Matthew Wilkas, the male lead, is very cute, and the girl looked atypically ordinary (in a good way). This was a case of being sold by the poster, and for a change, it was truth in advertising. I did note that the director/writer couldn't resist casting himself in a supporting role--something common to low budget film, gay or not--but it works pretty well. I recognized the kid from Chicago Fire in there (and he kisses a guy!), as well as Charlie from The West Wing (who doesn't).
This isn't a perfect film, but the quality of it is SO far above most similar fare. The acting is much better, the sound, photography and editing is too. If this helps, it looks nothing like an early John Waters film, if that makes sense. Also, though the setup of the film may be cliché, the way it's handled is novel. There's none of that "is he or isn't he" about the lead's sexuality. I also thought the chemistry between the actors was believable, another thing that often isn't there in gay cinema.
Anyway, I rated this one an 8. I realize that sounds high, but I'm considering it a "within the genre" grade, and in that case it might even be worth a 9. Real-world grade is probably just above a 5, but think about other films in this genre, which often hover between a 0 and a 3, and I think this film deserves a high grade. Plus, I want to help its average. There are some ridiculously low grades for this one.
All Is Forgiven (1986)
Funny Show, and it really had potential
I remember "All is Forgiven" mostly because I was going through a "aren't VCRs neat" phase, and decided it would be cool to tape all of the opening theme songs from the 1986 TV season. Since I've watched that tape a few times over the years, the cast of the show remains clear in my head.
I think the show would've grown on people, but they probably would have had to iron out the kinks between the home life and the work life (like "Barney Miller" did), because they didn't mesh very well.
One scene that stuck with me was a fight between stepdaughter Shawnee Smith and stepmother Bess Armstrong. They were fighting, and Bess thought she had the upper hand, shouting: "When you're old, I'm going to be there, dancing on your cake!" And Shawnee replied, "GOOD, because you certainly won't be able to CHEW it!" Did I mention I love Shawnee Smith? Though the "Saw" films made me see her in a whole new light.
Tucker's Witch (1982)
Great 80s show, never given a chance
I loved this show. It was like Hart to Hart, with a younger, more attractive couple and the added attraction of witchcraft. It was lighthearted and fun, and should have been a big hit. Tim Matheson and Catherine Hicks were at their peak of cuteness, the cat Dickens was cute himself, and Barbra Barrie is always great.
I'm sure by today's standards the plots were more pedestrian than I remember. 80s and 70s dramas are often like that. But in its day, it was great. I think I saw every episode.
Someone ought to think about remaking this show. It really had potential.