Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Sean Hoagland; Owen Alabado; Laura Jane Coles; Katheryn Hecht;
Director: David Lewis
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Is faith stronger than sexual attraction? Brady, an 18-year-old devout Christian, is given that test when he and his mother move to a scenic Northern California coastal town where he falls in love with his new neighbor Cli... more »
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Sweet, romantic tale, but ENOUGH with the waves already!
Bob Lind | Phoenix, AZ United States | 11/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The plot of "Rock Haven" (2007) is simple and realistic, though far from original: is being gay an impossibility if you consider yourself a Christian as well?
Brady is a shy, introspective 18 year old spending the summer before going away to college in a small coast town in Northern California. He is there with his widowed mother, who is a devout Christian in the process of establishing a religious school for the local pastor. Brady spends most of his time either reading the bible or staring off at the waves crashing on shore, until he meets a neighbor's free-spirited visiting son, 19 year old Clifford. While we later find out that Brady had some early inklings that he was somewhat attracted to other boys, he never before felt drawn to anyone as he feels to Clifford, and the other boy makes it clear that the feeling is mutual. Sensing his apprehensions and inexperience, Clifford lets their relationship develop slowly over the course of the summer, and, although he kids Brady about being a "nerd" in many of his interests, is careful not to express a conflict with his religious upbringing and convictions.
A beautifully written story by director/writer David Lewis ("Under One Roof"), capably acted by a talented Bay Area cast. While the basic plot is not original, and the story development somewhat predictable, it is told in a well-paced, sweet and romantic manner that lets the viewer feel the emotions experienced by the characters. The one negative I must point out is Lewis' seeming obsession with numerous extended scenes of waves crashing on the beach (Waves wash out like past experiences, wash back to erase what was on the sand before, metaphor for life going on, new beginnings, yadda yadda yadda ... WE GET IT! The ocean should not have more screen time than the actors!) Other than that, the film is highly recommended at four stars out of five.
DVD has deleted scenes, production stills and trailer. No director commentary, which would have been nice (I'd have loved to hear what he says about the ocean scenes. :)"
Nice Sea Oats, Clover, Ocean Rocks, but...
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/30/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"ROCK HAVEN seems to have its heart in the right place, showing the conflict between the religious right and human sexuality that occurs between two young teenagers, but the script is minimal, uncomfortable in saying what it really wants to say, and in the end the resulting film is a long drawn out series of a few sentences followed by lengthy views of the ocean and the wild flowers at coastline (even though Bodega Bay is stunningly beautiful to watch!).
Brady (Sean Hoagland) lives at the beach with his mother (Laura Jane Coles) preparing to go to Bible college at summer's end: the two are strongly right wing religious people. Into this rather rigid atmosphere steps Clifford (Owen Alabado) and there is an immediate chemistry between the two young lads - Clifford being openly gay while Brady is so far back in the dark closet that Clifford's mere presence terrifies him. Clifford's mother (Katheryn Hecht) is a free spirit who deals comfortably with her son's feelings and tries to support Brady in his fear of sinning. Brady's mother 'can't change the way she believes' (gay relationships are sinful) and tries to 'change' Brady by encouraging his attraction to a sweet well-meaning girl (Erin Daly) who just happens to understand Brady's needs more than he does! The manner in which this conflict is approached and quasi-resolved is weak as written and directed
by David Lewis (who also plays the role of the minister...), and the ending is unsatisfactory at best.
The quality of acting is low on the scale but the sincerity is palpable. The viewer wants to care for these young lads confronting love for the first time, but the situation posed by the meager dialog and the ending keep it from becoming the nice little wisp of a film it could have been. The scenery is the star, but it is hardly the `haven' for this dilemma that the title suggests. Grady Harp, December 07
groomRN | Illinois USA | 11/11/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed this movie, but wanted it to be better. The young star of the movie is very good and totally adorable. The storyline is one I can relate to, as can many of us. Overall, I am glad I bought and watched it, and will probably watch it again."
Religion versus Sexuality
AP | San Francisco | 11/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this gem at the SF Frame Line film festival in June. I was particularly taken by how the subject matter of religion and sexuality were merged into a "workable" solution for the main character. I think the film is of importance to a wide range of audience form high school on up. The story is beautifully shot and directed and the actors across the board are real, lovable and endearing. I am buying 10 copies to give a gifts."