Boys In Love Collection Vol.1 (Region 1) (NTSC) [DVD]
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Three gay dramas collected together in one package. 'The Trip' (2001) is a story about two mismatched friends' relationship over the stormy decades of the 1970s and 1980s. Tommy (Steve Braun) is a gay activist who meets closeted Republican campaigner Alan (Larry Sullivan) at a party in 1973. They begin a tempestuous love affair that sees them negotiating a turbulent political and social climate, breaking up, and getting back together when they are both given a second chance many years later. 'Under One Roof' (2002) is an erotic romantic comedy about two guys in love. Daniel Chang (Jay Wong) lives at home with his clueless, traditional mother (Sandra Lee). Desperate for a grandchild, she's eager to see him married and spends much of her time planning introductions to suitable Chinese girls for Daniel. But when she recruits a new lodger for the downstairs flat, Daniel finds himself falling for Robert (James Marks), the hot Southern boy who's moved to the big city. Robert's not a suitable Chinese girl - but is he gay? And does he feel the same way about Daniel? Daniel soon gets his chance to find out when the basement floods and his mother insists Daniel share his bedroom with Robert while the plumbers fix the mess downstairs. 'Everyone' (2004) is a Canadian comedy in which Ryan (Matt Fentiman) and Grant (Mark Hildreth) are a happy, successful gay couple who decide to get married. Holding a committment ceremony in their back garden, the couple invite all their friends and family to celebrate the happy day. What they weren't prepared for however was the amount of emotional baggage their guests would bring with them, and they find themselves having to deal with resentful parents, drunken guests, and revelations about an extra-marital affair. Even worse, a mysterious guest arrives who seems to have a thing for one of the grooms...
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"The Trip" is probably the best of the bunch, with two appealing lead actors who can really act, and are not just pretty faces. Spanning an 11-year relationship set against the backdrops of emerging gay rights movements, changing presidents, AIDS and Anita Bryant, Tommy and Alan survive their own personal "trip". Alan is the "closeted" Republican who finds himself in a relationship with openly gay liberal activist Tommy. Politics, an unpublished book brought into the light and heated controversy & portrayal succeed in breaking the blissful couple up until the 80's. Now, Alan is trapped in an unhappy relationship (with the very man who secretly published his controversial book which unraveled Tommy & Alan's relationship, no less!), hears of Tommy's whereabouts in Mexico (Tommy is now AIDS-infected), and leaves to be reunited with his old lover. There begins a touching & funny journey as Alan struggles to get his object of affection to a hospital, with a bittersweet revelation of a climax. The satirical humor in the film is hilarious enough while not being too obvious (it could've easily gotten out of control). Another treat is seeing the wonderful Jill St. John again as Alan's spiritually-liberated mother, who has some very amusing moments.
"Under One Roof" is, and looks, shot on a modest budget (directly to video). Telling a San Francisco tale of a closeted young Asian-American living (by tradition) with his mother & grandmother, issues of his true identity is brought to surface by a new tenant, who is revealed to be gay too. Thus begins a playful & flirtatious courtship until circumstances finally draw them together to share more than just "one roof". Included is a sexy-funny seduction scene in which Robert (the white boy) begins making love to Daniel (the Asian boy) while he's talking to his mother on the phone! The problem with this film is much of the acting is stilted & cliched; aside from the sex & nudity, it feels like a T.V. movie of the week. Still, UOR is what it is: A sweetly funny & sexy small-scale film about finding love in your own home, keeping it, and seeking acceptance.
"Everyone" is a Canadian-made film that doesn't have to deal with "coming-out" issues; the main characters are already out & committed to a long-term relationship. The film spans one day, but an important one---the two are getting married in their backyard. But the wedding is already under seige: They're already fighting about what it should be called. Add to that the parade of friends & family arriving with emotional baggage to complicate things: An alcoholic doctor & wife (who's having an affair), a couple who's trying to have a baby, a mourning couple who lost their baby, one of the groom's moms who insists upon decorating the wedding ( and who wants a baby from one of her sons), and a scruffy 17-year old urchin who insinuates himself into the wedding party, with intentions to seduce one of the grooms. The film's final images are curiously wordless but speak volumes: You can love another enough to forgive, forget & just be together. Actor turned writer-director Bill Marchant does a nice job of juggling the various storylines drifting through the film, whether serious or comical. Sometimes, there's a melancholy feel to the whole tableau as each character deals with some problem or another, whether it's pre-wedding jitters or bulimia. Not a completely uplifting film but rather, one which tells us that life is a mess, but we still have to deal with it, gay or straight.