College freshman Joe is new to school when he mistakes a rush invitation for a come-on form a cute fraternity brother. He's no less confused after a hazing ritual between him and Christian, his "big brother" in the Greek s... more »ystem, takes an intense and intimate turn. After Joe sets Christian "straight" about his sexual interests, Christian confesses that he himself is straight - but with "issues". A twisted love triangle forms when the confused Christian turns a romantic weekend getaway with his girlfriend into a double-date; inviting along his gay sibling Michael and "little brother" Joe. Trouble starts when Michael and Joe hit it off and Christian is left to face his own issues, straight or otherwise. Special guest appearance by Kelly Clarkson.« less
"But I did just have to take some time to add to the chorus of how unspeakably bad this movie was. I mean, it was absolutely awful.
The first ten minutes of the film had me confused, because we see Joe (Michael Rozman) getting ready to go off to college... even he looks 35! We know he's about to come out, but the friend to whom he comes out -- the one who comments that one of their high school pals has turned out to be a "fruit" -- comes across as pretty darn gay too, even though he claims to have a girlfriend.
Then, Joe hits his new college and totally randomly meets Christian (Dennis Rittenhouse Jr.) playing volleyball. Christian is overly friendly and invites Joe back to his house, supposedly to talk up his fraternity... and is shocked when Joe reveals that he thought it was a date. Yeah, right.
The movie then gets progressively bad from there, with Joe and Christian unknowingly getting filmed in the act of hooking up, then with Joe meeting and falling in love with Christian's younger brother, and no one seeming to bat an eye that Joe has now hooked up with both Christian and his younger brother (even though Joe clearly still primarily has feelings for Christian and would probably dump Michael in a heartbeat if Christian actually finally emerged from the closet.
With one notable exception, the acting is horrific. It seems like every single "straight" boy in this film is played by a gay guy, and poorly at that. I keep reading things about how there's so few out gay actors in Hollywood films; perhaps this movie can give a small clue as to why: these gay guys can't play straight for the life of them. Dennis Rittenhouse, Jr., as "Straight with Issues" Christian, sets off any decently tuned gaydar from the moment he appears on screen. Gary Castro Churchill, who plays Bill, the fraternity president (whose sexuality is not really well disclosed in the film), is a terrible actor and also sends my gaydar into overdrive (and the spanking scene was further evidence of lame acting). The worst of all: every single fraternity brother, including those who clamor for kicking the "fag" out of the fraternity after he's found out, are gayer than gay. Despite the fact that they use the "f-word" and refer using vulgar terms to parts of female anatomy, those words compete with the handbags falling out of their mouths.
The notable exception above: Jeff Sublett, who plays Michael, Christian's gay brother. The only reason his acting stands out above the less-than-mediocre performances of his castmates is because, according to the DVD extras, he's played by a straight boy. You know, I never would have guessed, which I guess means that his acting was at least that much better, because he played a gay kid really well. Maybe his character was just very poorly written. Well, it was... but I still hate to say he gave a great performance. He gave a great performance only because he's straight, and I believed him as a gay guy.
Oh, and let's not forget the decidedly amateur camera works. I've seen low budget; I've even liked some low budget films. This took it to a new level. 'Nuff said.
The plot, to the extent there is one, is stale and cliched. Joe falls for Christian -- even hooks up with him -- but Christian won't come out of the closet and thus Joe is left pining for him while he continues to play it straight with a girlfriend. Meanwhile, Christian introduces Joe to Michael, his brother, and the two hit it off famously. Christian, torn between at-least-kinda-sorta wanting to be with Joe and seeing his brother actually get him and be happy with him, wrestles with this odd balance. And Michael can't understand why Joe (by now running for student body president) won't acknowledge their relationship in public.
But other than the cute faces (though lacking in corresponding body heat) and some gratutious butt shots (though they did serve to give me something worth staying tuned for), this movie was a complete bust."
Mark Twain | 10/24/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"My boyfriend thought we should rent this huge mess because he is part of a gay fraternity and thought it would be fun to watch a movie about a gay man pledging a straight fraternity and falling for one of the Brothers. The only good thing about renting this crap is that we discovered one of the Brothers in my boyfriend's fraternity kept his participation in this movie a secret and now we can get on his case. Yup, unfortunately I know one of the actors playing a fraternity Brother in this so-called "film."
Bad acting, bad directing, and terrible dialogue are just some of the things wrong with this disaster. Add to that a storyline that doesn't make sense (since when are half the guys in a fraternity gay and all the other brothers accepting of it, since when do guys in a frat makes the pledges go down on them in order to be initiated, since when does someone so easily get invited to pledge a frat after an accidental meeting at the beach seconds earlier?) and a slow, tedious pace and you have one of the worst films ever made. Plus, it's obvious all the actors are gay and either friends with the direcor or slept with him at one point, and none are convincing playing straight men.
I don't know what the filmmakers were thinking. They had a decent $75,000 budget with which they could have at least made something even remotely worthwhile. This is just a step above a really bad porno. DO NOT SEE IT!!!"
Is there a rating lower than 1 star??
ardar88 | Falls Church, VA USA | 07/19/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is the type of picture that gives gay themed movies a bad name. It's amazing that the producers of this movie were able to find a complete cast of performers that is completely devoid of acting talent. How did this film get cast? I can't believe anybody got a role in this turkey as the result of an audition. This cast (no way they can be called actors) must all be friends of the filmmaker. There is not a single actor to be seen that is even halfway competent, and it is a fairly large cast. I guess there is no shortage of talent-free wannabes. Especially laughable are the obviously gay non-actors attempting to portray heterosexuals, commenting on various women's physical endowments and discussing their past sexual conquests. Now we're really in Fantasyland.The script is ludicrous; totally without coherence and the production is definitely bargain basement quality. The picture and sound make it obvious that it was shot with a single video camera.How do films this bad ever get made? It's a mystery. Avoid this one at all costs!"
Drama, Drama, and more useless Drama
Cookie Crook | arlington, va | 08/06/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Issues 101, directed by John Lincoln III, tells the ridiculous story of a gay man, Joe, who decides to attend college and finds himself attracted to a bi-sexual guy named Christian. It ends up that Joe falls for Christian's brother and in the process alot of pain is inflicted on the viewer. Bad acting, horrible sound quality, terrible music, and a script that has lost its way finds this movie both insulting with it stereotypical views of jocks, frat and gays. This movie was so bad I decided to have a few vodkas about a 1/3 of the way through to diminish the pain. The movie is so unrealastic it should be rated as fantasy / comedy. I advise all viewers to ditch the issues in this movie and save yourself some of your hard earned money."
Jaw Droppingly Amazing
M. Morgan | Oakland, CA | 12/24/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"There is one good thing about this DVD. In the extras there is an interview with one of the "actors" who apparently is straight. THAT boy should have a mantel full of Oscars. Otherwise this is the BY FAR the worst thing you'll see this year. Your jaw will drop in amazement at the "acting" of the middle-aged college students and the "plot".
If you have a choice between being buried alive and watching this movie, grab a shovel."