The summer is coming and Elias has been dreaming of the sea a lot. In the factory where he works, his responsibilities increase as the holiday season approaches. After one more night ... See full summary »
Decent idea from a set of "not ready for prime time" film makers
Predisposed or not to the basic premise here of love past the high-school hormonal stage and among those who AREN'T in the running for "America's Next Top Model" (being exploited continually by straight film and TV makers - "Ugly Betty" or "Seinfeld" anyone?), the shaky camera, cinema verité style ill serves this under written gay date movie.
"Regular gay guy" (to quote the DVD box) Josh has a hissey fit when he catches his lover of 10 years receiving oral sex from someone he has... well, we never find out just how much of a low life the lover may or may not be. Like every unrealistic bride in 50's straight movies, Josh declares the marriage over and tries, as an average looking 30-something, to re-enter a dating pool stocked with 20-something eye-candy. Blinded by the partially self created rejection of his mate (the marriage's failure is entirely played out in one 30 second curbside scene and has as little credibility than Josh's subsequent "dates"), Josh meets nothing but sleazoids or those who have not yet "gotten their acts together."
After one or two bad nights out - indistinguishable from his later title "dates" - he decides to go really self destructive and move back home to Cleveland (Ohio may not be New York or SanFransisco - and why is Josh suffering in L.A. and not one of THOSE places in the first place!? - but it actually has a very active gay life - not that you would ever know it from this film).
Josh's one good friend (it is never explained why THEY aren't potential date material) bets Josh he can set him up with a perfect man in the title ten dates who - also source of the title - turn out to be ten attitudes, not ten dates - and ten that include at least three or four who NO good friend would ever set anyone up with! The potentially GOOD dates we never see through to the end. It's as maddening as HBO's Sex And The City where (with only two or three exceptions) every time one of the girls found a really NICE guy, the viewer knew they were toast so the SERIES could go on.
Given the apparent aspirations of the film makers (please festival audiences enough to support eventual DVD sales), it would have been a real surprise if there *hadn't* been a happy ending (or at least a hopeful one), but while writer/director Michael Gallant crafts a nice one, he proves incapable of crafting a believable one.
He HAS proved capable of recruiting a solid list of capable actors to represent his 10 attitudes and even a few nice people. Jim J. Bullock and to a lesser extent David Faustino turn in thoroughly professional performances and the actor playing the man a bully from Josh's past grew up to be is actually something of a find in the film's one really charming scene!
The adult women are less happy, and being a gay film is no excuse for that. It's hard to tell if Judy Tenuda's "performance" is more the fault of the actress or the script. Whoever plays Josh's mother is just as bad. The woman playing the wife of one of Josh's dates is at least interesting and layered in her obliviousness - almost and effective satire on L.A. working wives, though nothing in the rest of the film shows that kind of subtlety.
All too many gay stereotypes fall back on Tennessee Williams: "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." Josh never says it - and he almost never gets it - but perhaps his film will. This was one of those films to which anyone who actually buys a ticket or decides to rent will bring every ounce of good will possible. It will need it.
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