I’m a sucker for an obstacle strewn romance. September Affair, An Affair to Remember, All That Heaven Allows, all two hankie tear jerkers that leave me emotionally drained yet uplifted. Whether the couple ends up together or are tragically and/or nobly separated, my tear ducts react and I feel somehow rejuvenated by the spectable.
Now let me just say I avoid renting gay romance films like the plague. I guess I’m a bit cynical but most of them just plain suck (and often times are just an excuse for gratutious nudity). Now I’m all for watching a good looking hunk of flesh but I’d like to have some sort of entertainment value tied to it (or a just plain raunchy pornfest). At the film festival, you don’t always know from the catalog what it is you’re about to walk into. Redwoods could have been a brooding, mood piece with little dialogue or action (which I can’t say I would have enjoyed) however, it wasn’t. It was a full on romance. Woo hoo!
I’ll spare you much time on the plot. (Miles is no longer very senstive to Everett. They have a learning disabled son, Billy. Miles and Billy go for a trip leaving Everett at home. Everett meets visiting writer, Chase. Fireworks. Complications. Family meddling. Love. More complications. Get out your hankie. Surprise Ending. More hankies.)
Is Redwoods a good movie? No. Is it enjoyable? In it’s way. I got sucked in knowing full well where it was taking me but willingly giving myself up to the sap. Would I have fallen so readily had it not been for Matthew Montgomery? Probably not. There’s an underlying vulnerability to his performance that creates more depth in the character of Chase than exisits solely in the script. His Chase is wounded yet charmingly appealing. Would I leave my husband for him? If he was as cold and detached as Tad Coughenour’s Miles, a resounding yes. However, Mark is pretty damn sweet to me so perhaps if i could sneak away for a weekend with Chase or better yet Matt Montgomery. Well, hell, yes. Otherwise. Hmm? Brendan Bradley does a nice job stuck in the stickier role of Everett. He gives a maturity and weight to the role that are beyond his years. I believe their story or perhaps it’s more that I want to believe their story and get sucked away for 82 minutes into the same world that supermarket romance novels populate. (Sidenote: Why are all the gay erotic romance novels written by women? And ever slightly odder, why are most of them written by women for women readers?)
Now, the credits role by and I’m feeling cathartically satiated but then it all begins to go wrong. At many of the film’s at the festival we are treated to a post film discussion with the filmmaker and cast. This was no exception (and no treat). The filmmaker got up and began talking and the spiral began. Why did I find him so irritating? Was it the fact that he was a stage hog and wouldn’t let anyone else have the mic, including the director of the short that had preceeded his film? Was it the fact that he had set his film in Guerneville and yet pronounced the name of the town as Gurneyville and had no interest or connection to it? Was it the fact that he was just a big old bag of blithering hot air? All of the above.
Rent this if you get the chance but don’t go out of your way to see (unless you need your Matt Montgomery fix and then by all means, moon).