Role/Play Directed by: Rob Williams Cast: Steve Callahan, Matthew Montgomery Running Time: 1 hr 25 mins Rating: Unrated Release Date: October 8, 2010 (limited)
PLOT: A disgraced former soap star meets a divorcing gay-marriage advocate at a Palm Springs resort.
WHO'S IT FOR? Gay men who don’t like subtlety.
EXPECTATIONS: I hadn’t heard anything about this film before it arrived at my house. However, the cover of the film showed two naked men making out ... so that's all I had to go on.
Steve Callahan as Graham Windsor: Callahan makes a credible soap star, if only his character wasn’t supposed to be a real person as well. He’s not bad looking, but his performance lacks emotion. For someone who’s supposed to be at some sort of crossroads, he just seems bored. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any chemistry with his costar, Montgomery, either. He just seems to go along with what happens because the script says so. I never got a sense of him as a real person. Score: 2
Matthew Montgomery as Trey Reed: Though slightly better as a performer, Montgomery still brings little to his performance as a gay marriage advocate in the midst of getting a divorce. He seems depressed, which is preferable to bored, but I just found him incredibly hard to like. I don’t know if it’s the character or the actor I had such a negative response to. The character is whiny and annoying, I agree with his politics and found myself wanting to disagree with him because he was so obnoxious. Still I believed he was a real person. I real, terrible, person. Score: 4
TALKING: The main problem with this movie. I may not have had so many problems with the actors if the script wasn’t atrocious. The dialogue is didactic and completely lacking in depth. The characters speak like they're meant to stand in for various school's of thought. Their arguments are clearly written as a way for the filmmaker to get his political views across. I felt like I was being condescended to by someone who wasn't very bright. Score: 2
SIGHTS: Hooray, something good to say! The film is shot very nicely. The set also looks good. I hope the set design and camera crew have the chance to move on to better things. Score: 6
SOUNDS: There’s some decent music. I could hear every word being said totally clearly, regardless of how I felt about it. Score: 3
BEST SCENE: Um… I liked the last scene. Yes, because the film was over.
ENDING: I know I was supposed to care when Graham and Trey got together, but I really didn’t. And what’s more, I’m not sure the characters really did either. This would have been a much better movie if I got the feeling the ambivalence that the actors felt was intentional.
QUESTIONS: How has Rob Williams made five films? Who’s giving him money to make films? Did anyone read this script and consider offering some help?
REWATCHABILITY: I’m not a masochist.
Two men coming together after each has been disgraced publicly ... this isn’t a bad idea for a movie. Unfortunately, Williams can’t deliver on the premise. Between the clunky script and wooden acting, there's not a lot to like here. I'll admit, I'm probably not the target audience as a straight white woman. But I do enjoy a good movie, regardless of who it may be aimed at. A good story can make a movie enjoyable, regardless of how much or little I may know about a culture being explored. That said, if you want to support independent gay cinema, I'm sure you'll go anyway. It's not worse than a bad romantic comedy or dull action film. But there's good stuff out there, I wouldn't stoop to this.
FINAL SCORE: 3/10