Real life experience
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved the movie. Although the movie has its flaw(which movie doesn't) I really identified with the movie. You know there comes a time in a relationship where both partners have strong feelings for each other but at the same time both of them have a problem in communicating that message to one another as a result the relationship tends to sag. That's the message of movie-If you love someone tell them exactly how you feel that way you become closer to one another. I also like the fact that despite the fact that the older guy had two chances to sleep with the younger guy(who was totally hot), he did not because it will be a lie. Stephen wanted to sleep Mark if and only if Mark was ready,meant it and of course loved him. It think that it is maturity on Stephen's part. It also showed that he really loved Mark and wasn't just trying to have sex him. I think in this day and age where the male testerone is raging like ferocious wind this should a message to gay community-Follow your heart and not your genital!"
Becoming Open To Love: Good Film Despite Rough Edges
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Garth Maxwell co-wrote and directed this 1998 New Zealand film and despite some rough edges in the production process and in areas of weak scripting and format, the message of repairing our individual perception problems in order to be open to acknowledge and embrace love when it comes along is a story worth telling. In the case of this film, it is three stories worth telling!
Mark (Dean O'Gorman) is a wannabe songwriter, poet, druggie, and hedonist who has problems with intimacy (we are unsure whether he is comfortable with his sexuality, whether he has been a hustler to support his nebulous lifestyle...). He is introduced to us by his 'pals' - two lesbian performers Fig (Nancy Brunning) and Sally (Sophia Hawthorne) - in a narrative way and who proceed to tell us Mark's history as it has developed in their eyes (this is a bit stagy and awkward, but it gets the story rolling). Mark is the heartthrob of Stephen (Simon Prast), an older, more mature man than Mark who tries to lead him into a productive life. Into town comes New Zealand's most popular singer Katie Keen (Rena Owen) who has come home from a long stay in Los Angeles where her career has been on the skids. She is no longer young, no longer has engagements, and is in need of her closest friend Stephen's consolation.
Katie must confront her age and her career state, Stephen must move on his deep feelings for Mark, Mark must get off the wild life and focus on what matters, and Fig and Sally need to get their amateur status boosted. The cycle of these needs is magnified when the five go to a beach house and Katie's 'boyfriend' Eddie (Simon Westaway) shows up with some surprise news that changes Katie's life, allows Stephen and Mark to confront their blocks, and provides an opportunity for Fig and Sally they least expected.
The cast is for the most part very strong. There are moments of rather bad music performance that could have been edited without diminishing the story, and there are some script techniques that get in the way. But by and large this is a feel good movie that deals with relationships of all types and offers light to people who think they are incapable of love. Maxwell is saying to be ready when love comes along! Grady Harp, August 06
Surprisingly memorable for a mediocre movie
J. Martin | Upstate New York USA | 06/13/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It took me several days to get through this movie, because so much of it is so bad I had to take it in small doses. The screenplay, in particular, is terrible all the way through. The story is okay, but every word the characters have to speak is stilted, pretentious, melodramatic and very embarrassing. I genuinely felt sorry for the actors, and I don't remember ever feeling like that before. But one curious result of that sympathy: it caused me really to appreciate the two actors who managed to rise above the awful material and create believable characters and memorable moments in the movie.
I had never seen or heard of any of the actors before, although I learned after I watched it that Rena Owen is fairly well known and very well respected. She happens to be one of the good actors in this movie. She's awkward in most of the scenes where she has to act like a flippant, insecure pop star, and there are far too many of those scenes in this movie. But in the couple of scenes in which she's allowed to show raw emotions--pain, despair, grief, profound loneliness, and even a few bits of joy--she's absolutely stunning. I'm determined now to see her in something worth watching. (When she's not wearing makeup she's very beautiful. Like many unconventionally beautiful women, she looks much, much better--and younger--without makeup.)
The other standout in this cast is Dean O'Gorman as Mark. He is astonishingly, disarmingly beautiful, the only man I've ever seen who could play Alexander the Great and look exactly right (he's even the right size and build, small and lithe as an acrobat without an acrobat's odd muscle development, and he moves like a leopard). His profile alone is so lovely that it takes my breath away, at the same time both classically perfect and deeply, sensually alive.
I never expect people who look like that to have any talent at all, because they really don't need it in show business, but O'Gorman can act. (In that way--and in that way alone--he reminds me of the young Elizabeth Taylor in A Place in the Sun.) But, very refreshingly, he never *acts* beautiful, he never seems aware of how he looks, he never preens or poses, he just acts. He just creates a character on film, a believable, tangible human being whom it's possible to relate to and care about as if he were real. His is a much less flashy and more consistent performance than Owen's is, but then his is a less flashy character. Both of them are delightful, and they alone make this movie worth watching.
The rest of the cast is mediocre at best. Simon Westaway makes a fairly convincing American in a small and relatively inoffensive role, and the two girl musicians have a few (and I mean *very* few) moments when they're not unbearably annoying, but poor Simon Prast does nothing to make his vapid, posturing, thirtysomething queen substantial enough to care about. That Mark is believably in love with him is further testament to O'Gorman's skill.
Since Garth Maxwell both wrote and directed this movie, I'll blame him for its failure. That most of the actors were unable to transcend his incompetence may not be their fault. But the five or ten minutes when Owen's raw genius breaks through, and all of O'Gorman's screen time, are staying fresh in my consciousness long after the sour taste of the movie has faded away. It just occurred to me that this movie's few, actor-created successes are visual, not verbal, so it might be much better with the sound turned off."