An ambitious epic romance that traces the course of two men through their initial meeting as teenagers in 1973 until the mid 80?s. Alan is a member of the Young Republicans and an aspiring journalist. He?s working on a boo... more »k about the evils of homosexuality, and invites Tommy, a gay rights activist, over for dinner and to interview him for the book. Thus begins a friendship that leads to a love affair told against the background of Anita Bryant, radical politics and the emerging gay rights movement. A huge audience hit during its festival and National Theatrical release, THE TRIP is a funny, touching and powerful film.« less
Excellent love story that's moving and loads of fun
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The film, "The Trip", is a wonderfully told love story with a sense of humor, that just about anyone who has ever been in love can relate to. The story itself is fairly basic; the struggle with coming to terms with ones sexuality, first love, and how life can change us. However, it is how the story is presented with a balance of diverse characters, entertaining dialogue and timeless themes of love and emotion that make the film extremely entertaining. The characters are well written for their roles in the story, nicely developed and represented. Gay or straight, just about everyone can relate to this film on one level or another. The witty dialogue keeps the films' pace brisk and fun to follow. But, the gem of this film is its comedic presentation of the period in which the story takes place (70's and 80's). From the clothes to the hairstyles, the film gives us a hilarious reminder of the way we were. Everything about this film is just the way it should be; an intriguing story woven together with outstanding acting and masterful direction. Jill ST. John, who plays "Mary" has never been better. She plays a great character and it's obvious she's having a good time. This film will be a part of my DVD library for years to come and I anxiously await Miles Swain's next film!"
Truly Excellent on all accounts!!!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just saw this film for the first time today, and I was blown away! I saw the trailer for it on a DVD of another (very bad) gay movie, and figured it was going to be along the lines of "Trick." God, was I wrong! This roller-coaster-ride is in my opinion the greatest gay film ever made (and I've seen a LOOOOT of movies). Male/female, gay/straight, I'd recommend this movie to anyone and everyone. The Trip is an against the odds love story set in the backdrop of the gay activist movement of the 70's and 80's. Alan and Tommy meet and fall in and out of love trying desperately to be together, but ultimately being torn apart by outside forces. Steve Braun is excellent and so is Ray Baker, who does a terrific job as the "Villain" of the story, and Alexis Arquette is always there to give you a laugh at some of the sadder moments of the film. This movie shows a great love between two men in a world that seems not to want to permit it. The ending alone would make the coldest person cry. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and go away satisfied. Anyone should watch this film gay or straight.At the risk of being the kid at the end of the movie who thanks Alan for writing his book: thank you Miles Swain for making this film. I have never found a film that I could identify so strongly with. I'm 27, so I didn't live through Harvey Milk and Anita Bryant, (while I didn't go through the BIG anti-gay stuff, I came out ten years ago, pre-"Will and Grace," when gays still weren't mainstream) but my "Tommy," who was 12 years older than me, did live through that era. He would have absolutely loved this film... if he hadn't died two years ago.And so this leaves me being Alan... too close to Alan. When it's right you just know, and like Alan, I was pushed out of the closet abruptly when true love came knocking. Though far less uptight than Alan, I was also extremely self-loathing to the point where I could've (and probably did) called someone a "faggot." Suddenly, like Alan, there was my Tommy, the missing piece of my puzzle - and life was worth living despite the turmoil. Almost instantly, we were living together. Ironically, after four years together some factors were introduced that began to drive us apart (nothing as drastic as a breakup but conflict nonetheless). Another three or four years where we kind of drifted apart, like Alan and Peter. But love conquers all. In the end, it was painfully clear that despite our differences and problems, we completed each other's puzzle. And then he died. Two years later, I'm still here and okay. Saddened that I'm alone, but okay.Now, the reason that I've shared all of this is mainly because of the comments here. Even many who said that they liked the film said that parts were unrealistic... I'm living proof of the realism of the story. A big complaint seems to be the ending of the film, the non-Hollywood-happy-ending. Swain was going for realism here and he captured it beautifully - from the humour of life to the drama to the action to the heartbreak. While many people find the VERY ending to seem hokey and contrived, I found it to be quite poignant - it shows that Alan's alright two years later.Now, rehashes of previous statements: Why the HELL didn't FOX Searchlight or some other big distributor pick up this film? It's not sexually exploitive like most gay movies and it seems to go over well with straight people. Matter of fact, I never push gay movies on my straight best friend, but I'm gonna make him watch this one. The film deserves a wider audience (and a better promotional campaign than it had).If only Hollywood could produce something that moves me as much as this... then again, if they did, this wouldn't be the gem that it is. Thank you again, Mr. Swain."
A Timely, Sensitive Glance Over the Shoulder
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE TRIP, written and directed by Miles Swain, is now available on DVD and perhaps in this venue it will receive the wider audience it justly deserves. So many of these independent little films that deal with important historical remembrances and social issues lack the funds for a wide theatrical release and PR. Unfortunate though that may be, releasing the DVD/VHS format for home consumption is bound to drive the messages so well presented here into the forefront of our thinking - especially with the increasing specter of AIDS burgeoning around the globe.THE TRIP is an examination of the 1970s and 1980s and while it is a fine love story between two men at opposite ends of the political spectrum, it does not come across as a 'gay-only' film. Credit Miles Swain for bringing out not only a re-creation of the drugged out, hallucinatory 70s and the development of the effects 'post-Stonewall' on gay activism, but also including important film clip reminders of the Nixon/Johnson/Reagan era with its Anita Bryants/Harvey Milks/AIDS devastation. In this setting Swain introduces an intelligent gay man named Tommy (Steve Braun) who encounters a closeted confused 'Republican misfit' Alan (Larry Sullivan) and collide with great humor in the presence of the very funny Beverly (Sirena Irwin). Alan slowly opens the closet door and he and Tommy become lovers in a solid dignified relationship. Alan is a young novelist and during his closeted years wrote a book on homosexuality in a less than friendly light. Once with Tommy, Alan manages to prevent the book's being published only to have the dragon raise its ugly head four years later. Tommy leaves, Alan opines, and then with the ever present entries of Beverly and Alan's ex-chorus girl wise mother (in a memorable performance by the beautiful Jill St. John) Alan discovers Tommy is in Mexico dying of AIDS. In a last attempt to regain his real love and mend past hurts, Alan goes to Mexico where Tommy has secluded himself. The title THE TRIP references an unfulfilled early promise of Alan and Tommy taking a Road Trip and it is this trip by car from Mexico back to the USA that ends the story.In keeping with the authenticity of the time frames, the stars are hampered in the first half of the film with outrageous long hair wigs and clothes that make them seem caricatures at first. But as with all of the cast (including Alexis Arquette in a fine cameo) the acting is strong enough to carry us with their transformation to the fine looking people they are. This film has many hilarious moments that serve to relieve the tension from the sad moments and in the end, despite all of the reminders of the mistakes of history, we are left with a beautifully tender love story - one the brings back (for this viewer) some of the best parts of the classic film MIDNIGHT COWBOY. Well worth your time!"
EXCELLENT MOVIE-FUN AND ENTERTAINING
Sunny Mix | 10/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't usually enjoy films of this genre but I was deeply moved and entertained by "The Trip" Well written, well acted, funny and moving.This is a love story between opposites who meet in the early 70's. Flash forward to the late 70's and this once happy couple are in a crisis when someone's past comes back to haunt them. Flash forward to the mid 80's and the couple are reunited on a road trip where they find the time to reconcile and heal old wounds. The cast features 70's icon and former Bond girl Jill ST. John (in her best role ever)Julie Brown, Alexis Arquette, and a cast of familar faces from movies and TV. The film brilliantly balances historical elements from the 70's/80's with comedy/drama/action/adventure in a 90 min. movie. This is truly a classic film and everyone should see it. FUN BONUS IN THE FILM: Clip of Anita Bryant getting a pie in the face from an activist, a very sexy and funny strip-tease in the middle of the road, and news clips of important events from the time period."
Sunny Mix | Vancouver, BC CANADA | 03/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This commingling movie about tragic love story, off-beat gay cliché comedy and melancholy music box is a surprisingly good. Judging from the production company and its director, you are not to blame to have any prejudice to discard it as another straight-to-video gay movie. However, all things considered, this movie sincerely delivers what it promises: a love story throughout the troubled time of gay community. Set in 1970s, the movie starts with a guy named Alan (Larry Sullivan, the famous face of numerous TV commercial and fashion catalogues) who is somewhat confused about his sexuality. Interested in discovering gay life style and publishing a book, Alan meets Steve(Tommy Ballenger) through a gay party. Although Alan is gay republican in closet and Steve is wide-open gay democrat, they build their strong relationship through mutual respect and love. However, with the culmination of heated social conflicts over gay movements, and with the jealousy of wealthy gay man, Peter(Played by Ray Baker, What Lies Beneath's Stan), Steve founds out Alan is the one who wrote currently best selling book that denounces gay life style as nothing but insanity. Although Alan tries to explain the book was written very long time ago and not supposed to be printed, Steve leaves after tear-jerking moments and Alan goes into the welcoming arm of cunning Peter. Years passed with sadness, agony and frustration of unfulfilled love, Alan finally meets Steve in Mexican desert where he was slowly dying. From there, they start their long over-due journey from Mexico to Texas. The unsettling atmosphere of Mexican desert and the glass-like frailty that Steve carries with, we lament over the lost time with hate and misunderstanding, and shamelessly hope for better to happen. This movie's most significant selling point should be the chemistry between two promising actors, Larry Sullivan and Tommy Ballenger. Sullivan's natural good looking appearance with eagerness to demonstrate his potential as serious actor really shines as Alan who's strong, determined and intelligent but also as vulnerable and sensitive as smooth boy-next door. The love between Sullivan and Ballenger portrayed with their sincere and passionate performance will give you shivering vicarious experience you will rarely find now days. In addition, their journey through 70s and 80s also bring some memorable and refreshing look back at the gay right movements. The director's effective usage of TV documentary and montage from these decades is top-notch to add reality to this movie. For some young gay people who's born after 1980s, this movie will show you some interesting history lesson and education on gay movements and ordeal the proceeding gay generation went through. That alone is worth seeing this movie. Some shortcomings you will find are, poor sound editing, somewhat distracting supporting actors' performance and some gay stereotype clichés. The director uses various type of music, mostly 70's reminiscent pop and rock collection to help creating the 70s and 80s feel to the movie. However, in some scene, the music overshadow some scenes. In a way, loud and not-so-well blended music became dominantly distracting the ears. Distracting as much as the music was the supporting actors. In some scenes, where conflicts arises between main characters, these supporting actors' role just dilute the tension and seriousness of the scene. Intended for off-beat and flaky humor sense, their scenes come nothing but cheap imitation of previous numerous gay cliché movies and TV shows."