....."It's Leo...and I want OUT!"
NOTES: My preferred Star-Rating would be Half-Star more (cause He's lovable) / This review based on earlier released European DVD version obtained through Amazon.com/UK
(( FULL DISCLOSURE----STOP at this point....IF what you're anticipating, sex scene-wise, is anything more than a few, tame love-making shots. BUT continue on....IF you can withstand a little trip back to a place so many of us, in our pasts, dwelt: A lonely...sad...emotionally draining place....that's called "THE CLOSET" ))
As your Trip Guide through this unpretentious little film, you'll follow along after the sweetest of guys, one who's named Leo Brasetti. Yes, he's as wonderful a young man as you could ever hope to meet / hook up with....IF he could only figure out Who and What he is (Some Guide, indeed!). Oh sure, he knows deep down, BUT the thing is there are just all these fears of discovery....and all these people he would be disappointing....and all these other excuses we, ourselves, used for our own inability to be "out and proud" (oh, you were different....well, Congrats to you!). Nevertheless, you're gonna meet him...follow him through some trials and tribulations...until, maybe, you begin to see a little glimmer of hope which will make the time you've spent together all worthwhile.
Now, to get back on track with this confused young man. Let's just say, again, that he's someone so choked up over trying to be the person he was born to be, his life has become a turmoil. YET, all around him...right there in plain sight...are people accepting of his being himself. Foremost is a marvelous mother, who point-blank tells him she just wants him "...to have someone of his own---no matter whether a girlfriend or boyfriend." And then there's that wonderful, old therapist of his, who is trying to pull it all out and into the open, as painlessly as possible. BUT our Leo is so tightly wrapped, their words don't seem to get through. It is SO bad that he even worries what his several years deceased father might think of him. So, now, who could blame any of you readers of this if you've begun to wonder: ...How can any but the best of actors convey this kind of emotional turmoil...how is this relatively new actor, with only one unknown film under his belt...gonna put it all across to me? Well, Viewers, I'm here to tell you that this Martín Rodríguez, this young Latino "hottie," will project Leo so vividly, so discomfortingly...yet so endearingly...that you'll want to enfold him in your own arms and ease his confusion. I know nothing of South America's pool of young male actors willing to portray a gay character, but I cannot imagine there could ever have been a better selection for doing it here than Martin. And no way can I see any other actor possessing his unconscious and quirky little way of sucking in / chewing on his lower lip during emotional and stressful times...it's just who Rodriguez is (yes, again, endearing). Then there's Gerardo Begérez, as Leo's wanna-be lover (Seba / Sebastien). He is first-rate...and a fine selection for putting across the playful protectiveness his character needs to project to us.
A Spin-off or side story (unfortunately taking up near half the film's running time) involves Leo's reconnection and interaction with a former primary schoolmate---Caro by name---along with some of her family members. In her, we're given an at times catatonic, depressed, young lady who, to my thinking, was likely thrown into the mix by Writer / Director Enrique Buchichio only to give us more insight into Leo's amazing empathy for others. I will leave further comment on Caro and her storyline to other reviewers of this film.
To end all this up, let me just acknowledge there may be some of you who ask why this small film would end with Leo deciding upon a little road trip, and even see it as more of his avoiding reality. However, I believe Director Buchichio is using it as a final little journey of self-discovery for our Leo. Showing us that all will turn out well (as any gay romantic would wish) and giving us a wonderful, final wide-screen shot of the car windshield and close-up of Leo's face (yes, you CAN see his thoughts), as it lights up in a small smile during the film's last split seconds. YES...that's right; Leo IS telling us something. And then you know....you just KNOW, in that very moment: He's decided to, at last, throw OPEN the door to "LEO'S ROOM."
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