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Two Men, A Park Bench, Beer - Stuff Will Happen!
on 19 January 2012
This is an adaptation of the stage play and is directed by Bill Humphreys. He has taken the very brave move to play this straight (no pun intended), in that it is almost a straight filmatic version of the stage play. It is shot all in a blacked out sound stage with the various sets all in view to begin with.
The basic plot is that Guy (Mathew Jaeger) is reading Plato on a park bench, when the sweaty carpenter Doug (Robert Mammana) comes up sits down to have his lunch with a gassy beer and starts a conversation. He then goes on to proposition him for some après lunch oral exercise in the bushes. They do seem poles apart especially so as Doug admits to being married and having a baby on the way.
The relationship develops and what at first springs from sexual desire eventually takes on something more meaningful. The strengths of this film are the inter play with the actors. They are comfortable together even when they are having to be awkward. The direction is minimal as are the sets, which means that they have to be even more engaging - and they really both are.
The stage play sets act as an alienation device for the audience, in that you are constantly being reminded of the unreality of the situation - but that is exactly what happens in a play anyway. The stage devices are a bit off putting like eating when there is clearly no food in the bowl and the set echoes in places. However, there is a well done love scene that then lapses into arty shots that are also unrealistic. Let's face it after some man on man coital activities, you don't start doing naked catalogue poses - at least I don't. This though is an exploration of the psychology of love and all else is a part player. In that the film succeeds, it is not rushed and the tale is simple but engaging.
If you are a fan of gay cinema then this take will be of interest to you, the ending may leave some feeling that Ms Blyton had a hand in the script, but it is just an ending to a new beginning and I did not mind when I watched it. At 75 mins this will hold your attention, but is probably one to rent as I would not be falling over myself for a second coming - I mean viewing (what am I like?)