I AM MICHAEL is the incredible true-life story of Michael Glatze (Franco), a high profile gay youth activist who created a national controversy when he claimed to no longer be gay and became a straight Christian pastor. The film follows Michael from his life in San Francisco with his boyfriend Bennett (Quinto), where he pursues political activism, a journalist career at XY Magazine, social awareness, and sexual exploration, to his days of personal self-discovery. After a traumatic scare, Michael is plagued by doubt and paranoia, and begins a religious reawakening. Michael renounces his gay lifestyle, rejects his friends, and endeavors to find his "true self." He explores Buddhism and Mormonism, yet ultimately lands at a Christian Bible school in rural Wyoming where he meets his girlfriend, Rebekah (Roberts), and becomes the pastor of his own church. This powerful new film captures one man's haunting journey through modern concepts of love, denial and redemption.Written by
Hair & Make-up
(Colette & Tim K Remix)
Written by Mateo Senolia
Performed by Trinidad Senolia
Courtesy of Yoruba Records (ASCAP) See more »
Powerful subject but very flawed film
I really thought I would love I AM MICHAEL. The subject matter is not one that has been sensibly explored from an authentic and non- bias perspective before. I was apprehensive about James Franco's participation. While Franco is a brilliant actor, his ongoing public gay-baiting and exploitation of the gay community have reduced him to a mere instagram underwear model. however, his inclusion was salvaged when I saw the enigmatic and vastly talented Zachary Quinto was involved. Quinto is both deeply respected as an actor and doesn't have to provoke a response by portraying himself as eye- candy or demanding people question his sexuality for unnecessary attention, he is an actor, and he is masterful.
Both were great in I Am Michael. Not shockingly at all. But we can presume Quinto did it because it was an incredibly important story... and Franco did the film to continue dangling himself in front of gay men. It could have been an Oscar winner, but who can take James Franco seriously anymore in subjects that require sensitivity and respect for LGBT people in general?
The film also suffered from a devastatingly bad script. The construct was there; the dialog was broken and unnatural. It came across as quite immature and, even worse, amateur.
Director Justin Kelly failed to make the heavy content move at an acceptable pace and I found myself wanting desperately to fast forward 20 minutes, which I did, and realized I didn't miss anything except Franco wandering around open fields in slow motion... or city streets... or a park, angst ridden and boring. Really, really boring. Any impact the film could have is absolutely lost because of the ridiculously slug-like pacing and poorly constructed exchanges.
Frankly, the film felt more like a student film. A student desperate to make an important film and be taken seriously. It didn't really work. For that, there is no excuse with a powerhouse producer like Gus Van Zandt; seasoned actors Quinto and Emma Roberts and even a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo by Daryl Hannah. The responsibility here falls squarely on the shoulder of Director Justin Kelly- because he co-wrote the disastrous screenplay as well.
I can't even recommend you see this, which sort of breaks my heart because of everything I wanted it to be, but it falls short on every single level and becomes a long winded, painfully self important and unnecessary film. In the right hands, it could have been a very relevant film. Alas, it was not.
I scored this three stars for the inclusion of an amazing Tori Amos song, which coupled with a better film, could have been massively poignant.
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