on 23 January 2014
This is a made-for-video movie about the doings of two lovable rascals, brothers from Texas, who come a-wooing, under false pretenses, to the L.D.S. Mormon-land of Idaho (just to the north of Utah and, in many ways, almost as L.D.S. Mormon as Utah itself, Idaho being, as many will recall, the Mormon cultural homeland of of one of the two male gay lovers whose plight "Latter Days" cinematically recounts, partly in Idaho settings). The movie will appeal to a limited audience in the morally jaded film-consuming landscape of the contemporary U. S. of A., but for those seeking "family fare", this makes good viewing around the familial video-playing T.V. set.
The two rather average-looking but rather rugged "Romeos of the West" have come to find a girl whose picture, posing in a family photo, the lads have seen and with whom one of the brothers tumbles hopelessly in love just from that photographic clue. To gain access to the Idaho girl's home, they pose as exchange students from Eastern Europe whose arrival the family of the girl is expecting. The boys are sufficiently bewildered at the Mormon culture of the town, the family, and of other folks in the Idaho community, a lot different from what they have known in Texas, so the two amourous brothers are able to convey an impression of bewilderment that everyone expects of foreign exchange students. The brother of the twain who is not already "hooked on" a particular girl even before arrival in Idaho, plays off the affection of two young women whom he encounters in the town, and that begins to make things confusing, eventually resulting in "blowing their cover". Complications ensue. However, love overcomes all and two pairs of lovers emerge from the confusion, adding two youthful males to Idaho's population. (They do not intend now to return to Texas.)
The film obviously was made for and by L.D.S. Mormons, mostly, one assumes, for their own kind. That said, while the ethos and much of the detail clearly betoken a L.D.S. Mormon culture, there are some details that seem surprising to this viewer, whose mother, and all of the relatives on her side of the family, come from an Utah family. The local ward-house looks resembles a Protestant Christian facility more than it does the Mormon meeting houses that I recall from my childhood, way back in the early 1950s. The presence of a cross in the chancel, for example, is not (or, at any rate, was not then) typical of Mormon ecclesiastical architecture. I almost begain to wonder if that house of worship was of the "Community of Christ" (R.L.D.S. Mormon) rather than L.D.S. I suppose that this visual bit of confusion may simply be there to cater to more usual Christian sensibilities and expectations, for the sake of appeal to non-Mormons (i.e., non-L.D.S.) among viewers.
The movie is, obviously, low-budget but not downright cheap. The acting, while hardly extraordinary, is passable, with the exception of cast member Robert Swenson (playing "Doogie"), whose bizarre motions and body language would seem to betoken odd expectations on his part of what an actor ought to do on set and on screen. Well, the cast, like the movie itself, is moderate in quality, but appealing enough to make seeing "Take a Chance" worth it for viewers who do not insist upon rampant licentiousness, on loose language, and upon seeing bedded-down or rug-rolling couples thrashing naked in the throes of fornication (and, admittedly, that sort of thing can be quite a lot of fun to watch!), as suitable fare to arouse their pleasure in a 20s-something double romance. One can take a chance on "Take a Chance" without undue disappointment.