Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Mark Hildreth, Stephen Park, Tom Scholte, Brendan Fletcher, Nancy Sivak
Director: Bill Marchant
Genres: Comedy, Gay & Lesbian
Ryan and Grant are the model of a perfect, urban gay couple. And they're getting married. The ceremony is set to be a small affair with only immediate family on the invite list. What could possibly go wrong? The answer isn... more »
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The Blurry Line Between Straight and Gay Relationships
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"EVERYONE is very much like a Smoothie: many different characters/ingredients are thrown into the blender and out comes a puréed concoction better than the individual parts. Writer, Director and Actor Bill Marchant take a refreshingly different look at gay marriage and in comparing it to straight counterparts develops a story that is funny, touching, and makes a lot of significant points.
Grant (Mark Hildreth) has been living with Ryan (Matt Fentiman) for three years and the story opens with preparations for their 'wedding' or 'union' or 'blessing' - a ceremony that is fraught with tension from the undecided title to the agreed apparel to the decor to the timing. Clearly this is a couple in conflict though they manage to resolve most problems physically!
The invited guests are to be family only - the brothers of both grooms and their spouses. Grant's mother Rebecca (Katherine Billings) is the first to arrive with a 17-year-old hustler Dylan (Brendan Fletcher) she met at the bus stop and whom she engages to carry her box of wedding decorations, and upon arrival she takes over the place plastering the yard with garish flowers and glitter. Dylan is 'cleaned up' by the men and becomes the tuxedoed doorman, greeting all the guests with outrageous comments and a fair sprinkling of drugs.
As each brother arrives we find through flashbacks that each couple carries significant baggage into this festivity: Shep (Bill Marchant) is an alcoholic surgeon drowning in guilt over the loss on the surgical table of a young girl patient while his wife sneaks away for trysts with a weekend lover; another brother is so career oriented that his wife's announcement of a pregnancy signifying her willing end of her successful acting career makes him plead for abortion; another brother is desperately trying to have a child with a wife who secretly aborts every successful fertilization out of disdain for carrying a child by him; and anther brother is a landscape architect married to a fragile woman who still lives in mourning for the child they lost exactly three years to the day of the now present 'wedding'. It rapidly becomes clear that the drive toward procreation that many acknowledge as being the core of straight marriages is in reality the target of the weaknesses in these couples' relationships.
As the day progresses the seductive randy Dylan plays an ever increasingly important role: he is the comic relief as well as the focal character that pries open all of the foibles of the people present. How his presence alters the day and the way the ceremony ends forms the conclusion to this comedy of errors.
The cast works well in the ensemble feeling of this film. Particularly outstanding is Brendan Fletcher as the pivotal hunky, Puckish Dylan. Carly Pope who plays the 'wedding planner' Rena is a natural comedienne, a sparkling star who delivers the best and zaniest lines with exquisite finesse. But each member of the cast has terrific moments. The ending scenes bring a nice sense of closure without resolving everything in a cloying manner. Bill Marchant shines in this first venture into writing and directing and one would hope he gains enough support to continue working on interesting and challenging films. Grady Harp, May 05"
Drama at a Civil Union in Vancouver
interested_observer | San Francisco, CA USA | 05/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Today is the day Ryan (Matt Fentiman) and Grant (Mark Hildreth) will host their civil union at home. Their collective brothers, step-sister, and Ryan's mother all show up, most with spouses. Ryan's mother (Katherine Billings), needing help carrying a box of decorations, enlists the help of a street urchin, Dylan (Brendan Fletcher). Let the party begin.
The audience becomes aware of problems the guests have, many revolving around children or the lack thereof. Attitudes toward each other and toward the thought of a gay civil union raise tension levels within and between the participants.
Homeless Dylan has a sense of the dramatic and of the inner workings of the people around him. He can nudge some people toward happiness, but it is hard to keep matters in balance.
There are a variety of outcomes, but I was very pleased at the choices made in resolving the most damaging situations. The movie as a whole makes a good impression.
The lighting, sets, and direction were all right. There were skin shots of all the males and two of the females.
Although some of the acting may routine and some of the dialog may be unlikely, special mention must be made of the performance of Brendan Fletcher as Dylan. He was able to keep his emotional intelligence on view as he dealt with the characters and combinations of characters he faced. Even when he had no lines, as when he listened to the motor-mouthed party planner Rena (Carly Pope), he was able to stand in the background and indicate he knew exactly what was going on. His performance towered over everyone else's.
I first noticed him in the short film "Touch" in the "Boy's Briefs 2" collection. He was terrific there too. I think a film that could show a plausible arc of his life from "Touch" to "Everyone" would be spectacular.
M. L. Hall | Indianapolis, IN | 10/09/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was not all that great at all. I bought it because I have a passionate love for Mark Hildreth and that should be the only reason anyone should see this movie. The plot was flawed, the acting was lacking, the dialogue was slow, and the characters were extremely under-developed. I was extremely disappointed in this product and would not recommend anyone buy it. Rent it if you want to see it, but it is definately not worth purchasing."
Not really worth watching
Michael Virnig | Midwest | 09/28/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The first few scenes of this movie are somewhat amusing and enjoyable. But... that all changes. What could be a good romp and a reaffirmation that gays are as good as straights and that there really isn't that much difference between the two (and that both have their relationship problems), turns into a dysfunctionality fest that goes much too far.
In fact, it becomes insulting at a certain point, especially in regard to the two gay partners. While it is true that most relationships have problems, the conglomeration of problems suffered by the relationships portrayed in this movie go so far over the top that they make one feel that if all humanity should be wiped off the face of the earth, it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
If there were enough time in the movie to develop the characters and show the viewer how they came to their current states of pathos, it might be better. Instead, we are asked to simply take at face value that all these people are completely unable to cope with each other and with life, and not only that, that they choose to remain with each other while making each other, and being made by each other, supremely miserable. There are a few attempts to explain the current behavior of a few of the characters, but in large part, they are so extreme that they make no real sense.
At least one of the two central gay characters reinforces some pretty ugly stereotypes during the film (shallowness, promiscuity, etc.), and in fact rubs them in your face. One scene is particularly disturbing when one of the grooms is freaking out and starts repeating over and over that the Christians are right, gay people are sick, etc., etc. Is this supposed to be entertainment or a neocon training film?
And in the final moments of the film, there is gratuitous full frontal female nudity that served no purpose whatsoever. I'm not a prude, and when there is reason for nudity in a film, I'm all for it. There is no reason here. If there were corresponding male nudity, it might make sense, but the most we see of the male of the species is a couple of brief butt shots during the movie.
The acting itself is relatively good, which is why I gave it three stars. My opinion is that they simply had bad material to work with and the director had a questionable vision about what he wanted to accomplish. In retrospect, I didn't really enjoy most of this movie, and didn't really find it to have much to recommend it to any audience.