Monday, August 07, 2006

Yet Another Gay Movie

"Another Gay Movie" (dir. Todd Stephens, 2006, US, 92 mins.) This is an odd little animal, brought to us by the writer and producer of "Edge of Seventeen" (was it eight years ago?!), which also plays into a few of the 'inside jokes' that FILLS "Another Gay Movie." In fact, the film's humor is so gay-centric that I had to explain some of this to my sister (who is visiting from out of town and attended with me.) The flick is a gay homage to all the teen sex farces that have been released in the past few years, i.e. "American Pie" "Another Teen Movie" etc., but exceptionally more explicit! (You'll never see a fully erect shower scene coming from Warner Bros.!)

The plot is typically slim as four gay high school senior boys are on a race to lose their virginity before the summer ends and college begins. What Stephens has done, however, is taken 'classic' scenes (i.e. screwing the pie in "American Pie") and recreated them with a gay sensibility. In fact, some of the restagings are surprisingly precise. (The "Carrie" prom queen homage is duplicated down to the fall of the ribbon before the fall of the bucket!) The end result is actually fairly sophisticated in that there is the 'gay layer' over the 'homage' performed by a who's who of gay comedy and culture. The supporting cast is filled with a Trivial Pursuit of gay/gay friendly personalities: Scott Thompson, John "Lypsinka" Epperson (in full Lypsinka mode!),Graham Norton (who steals every scene he's in!), Darryl Stephens ("Noah's Arc"), Richard Hatch, Ant, gay porn superstar Mattew Rush (who is actually pretty good!), James Getzlaff (the boy of "Boy Meets Boy"), and there may have been others that I didn't recognize. (There were also others that ended up on the cutting room floor, i.e. Mink Stole.)

The four leads (Michael Carbonaro, Andy Wilson, Jonah Blechman, Jonathan Chase, Mitch Morris), who I don't recognize, are almost too cute to be facing the predicament that the film revolves around. Jonah Blechman as the 'super nelly' Nico is particularly fun, if you can get past how far he pushes the stereotype. Carbonaro is in the unenviable position of playing the 'Jason Biggs character'. He isn't allowed to really develop a character as much as re-enact a series of "American Pie" scenes.Chase and Morris are given the widest opportunity for their characters, which Chase is able to take advantage of, though Morris relies perhaps too heavily on his chiselled good looks. But they do raise the pretty quotient quite a bit as they play out their little romance.

The flick produced a series of guffaws out of me! However, I was a bit hesitant at points as the low-budget is firmly on screen and could have been polished a bit more. (It reportedly received a luke-warm response at Frameline 30, earlier this summer.) The director and cast were present at Friday night's screening at the Castro for a Q&A, which is sort of ironic in that WHAT are we going to explore about the making of the 'gay "American Pie"'?? However, we did find out that it was filmed in only two weeks, which sort of explains the rough and hasty look and feel it has.
However, I did guffaw! And after a spring and summer of 'cinearte' I found this to be refreshing and more than worth dipping into.

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