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Lazy Eye (2016)

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Passions re-ignite and secrets revealed when a graphic designer reconnects with the great, lost love of his life for a weekend tryst at a house in the desert near Joshua Tree.

Director:

Tim Kirkman

Writer:

Tim Kirkman
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Drew Barr Drew Barr ... Optometrist
Lucas Near-Verbrugghe ... Dean
Michaela Watkins ... Mel
Aaron Costa Ganis ... Alex
Debbie Jaffe Debbie Jaffe ... Bartender
Michael Rubenstone ... Bar Manager
Harrison Givens ... Chatty Grad
Renée Willett ... Waitress
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Storyline

When Dean, a graphic designer in Los Angeles, notices a sudden change in his vision, an ex-love from 15 years earlier contacts him unexpectedly in hopes of rekindling their relationship. When the two meet at a vacation house in the desert near Joshua Tree, secrets are revealed and passions rekindled that threaten to upend both of their lives. Forty-eight hours later, neither will ever be the same.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An ex-love story.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf den zweiten Blick See more »

Filming Locations:

Joshua Tree, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lazy Eye (2016) has exactly the same story and characters like the French-German movie Le deuxième commencement (2012), but in a different setting and with an obviously much higher budget. See more »

Goofs

As Dean and Alex walk through the Western ghost town, they pass the pottery shack twice. See more »

Quotes

Dean: I've never understood the appeal of a big wedding.
Alex: I do. I want a huge wedding. Big flower arrangements. All my family and friends. Big band playing. If I ever love somebody that much, I want to shout it to the world.
Dean: You ever come close?
Alex: No. Well, maybe once.
Dean: You don't mean me.
Alex: You want to know the truth? I've been with a lot of guys in my life. I've even lived with a few of them, but none of them compared to you. It's gotten so bad that no matter where I go in the world, I find myself looking...
See more »

Connections

References Harold and Maude (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

STRONGER THAN MY LOVE
Written and Performed by Heidi Howe
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User Reviews

 
A Potentially Good Movie Trapped in the Body of a Mediocre One
3 September 2017 | by aschelandSee all my reviews

One of the characters in "Lazy Eye," Dean, is a fan of NPR (National Public Radio, the movie's other protagonist, Alex, helpfully spells out for us dolts in the audience). This is used as movie shorthand to give us some insight into Dean as a character. However, writer-director Tim Kirkman doesn't flesh out the character enough to make this trait any more than an empty affectation, akin to leather bound classics being displayed on a bookcase to make someone appear cultured when you know the books have never been cracked. This point is hammered home during one of "Lazy Eye"'s unnecessary flashbacks, in which Dean (Lucas Near-Verbrugghe) realizes "Morning Edition" is about to come on and hurries to switch on the radio, a rapturous expression crossing his face as the program's theme music plays. Even Ira Glass would roll his eyes at this scene.

But there are other moments where the characters seem real. Dean is a Los Angeles-based graphic designer in his late 30s who has amblyopia—lazy eye. At the film's opening he's dismayed to learn he'll need trifocals, the new glasses highlighting that he's not getting any younger. He's enjoying a successful career, yet chafes at being bound to his clients' boring ideas. (I particularly liked his railing against "heads in the sky" movie poster designs.) But what's really eating at him is an e-mail received from Alex (Aaron Costa Ganis), an ex-boyfriend from 15 years ago, when he was a New York art student. "Of course I remember you. You broke my f------ heart," is Dean's first response, which he deletes before hitting "send." Instead, he suggests that Alex, a former Wall Street exec now living in New Orleans, come out to visit him at his vacation cabin in Joshua Tree.

The exes reunite and reconnect—literally—within seconds of greeting each other (this sex now-talk later approach mirrors their hook-up 15 years ago, we later find out). After sex the guys talk about old times, the compromises they each made as they got older, and thoughts on the movie "Harold and Maude," the cult comedy discussed as if it's some impenetrable art film. It looks like they might be on the road to rekindling what they had all those years ago in New York. That is, until one character reveals something about himself that changes how the other character—and the audience—regards him. This wouldn't be a problem if Kirkman used it as a jumping off point to further develop the character and the story, but the revelation is never dealt with to a satisfying degree, with lame excuses and justifications taking the place of any real emotional catharsis. We're asked to forgive a character's duplicity because the movie tells us to, not because the forgiveness was earned.

"Lazy Eye" can't totally be written off. Though Kirkman's writing disappoints, his directing seldom falters. The acting is first rate, with Near-Verbrugghe and Costa Ganis exhibiting an easy chemistry. It's the strength of their performances keeps us watching even when the script weakens. Also, Gabe Mayhan's cinematography is gorgeous.

What's so frustrating about "Lazy Eye" is you can see there's potential for a really good—possibly great—movie here, but it's trapped in the body of a mediocre one. It strives to be a more intelligent take on gay relationships and in many instances it is, but there are many more instances where it's clear the film makers haven't done their homework and are just cribbing from Cliff Notes.


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