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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

PHILADELPHIA GLBT FILM FEST DAY FOUR

Love and Other Disasters
Prince Music Theater

There is nothing disastrous about "Love and Other Disasters", a practically-perfect-in-every-way romantic comedy that played Sunday evening at PIGLFF. Written and directed by Alek Keshishian (of ‘With Honors’ and ‘Madonna’s Truth or Dare’ fame), "Disasters" is a highly energetic, completely entertaining tale that delighted the festival crowd Sunday night and had everyone singing its praises as they left the theater with an extra jump in their step.

This is the tale of ‘Jacks’ (Brittany Murphy), a high-fashion Vogue employee, with a ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ obsession, who does her best to better the lives of the others around her, while being content on going without love herself. Jacks’ latest project is playing matchmaker for her roommate Peter (‘Brothers and Sisters’ Matthew Rhys), an aspiring screenwriter whose chance encounter in a hotel lobby has him feeling smitten. When a handsome and charming photographer (Heroes’ Santiago Cabrera) enters the Vogue office, Jacks is convinced that he is gay and perfect for Peter. Little does she know that he really has the hots for Jacks and thus comedy ensues.

My summary does this movie no justice. It is so charming, so hopeful, so endearing, that I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying it. Brittany Murphy finally breaks away from the hum-drum roles that seemed to have plagued her career, and completely shines. Matthew Rhys continues to break down gay-character stereotypes by making Peter just as much an everyman as if it were a Jimmy Stewart role. And Santiago Cabrera has such presence when he is on screen, one can only wish that he did not fall victim to Sylar at the end of Heroes, just so we can watch him once a week this year too.

This is that rare gem of a movie that crosses over. It can play well with gay and straight audiences I hope to see it again when I return to LA. It’s just that good.

2:37
Prince Music Theater
Sunday, July 15, 2007


So, if Dennis Cooper and Eli Roth got together and decided to write an episode of "Degrassi", I have a feeling that the result would be quite similar to ‘2:37', an incredibly dark ensemble drama that tells the story of six high school students on the last day of one-of-their lives.

The suicide, which occurs at 2:37, opens the movie, and yet, the audience is unaware of which character actually has decided to ‘end-it-all’. The movie then jumps back to the beginning of the school day and we are taken through the individual lives and problems of each of the characters as the story slowly edges closer to the tragic event.

The movie borrows some from Gus Van Sant’s ‘Elephant’, but never in a way that you feel it is copying it. The story is truly compelling ...but I have to admit, some of the dark secrets these characters are carrying are SO dark not even Oprah could help them! And when these secrets are revealed on screen, some are graphic and incredibly uncomfortable.

And just when you thought you couldn’t squirm in your seat anymore, we finally reach the portion of the movie where the suicide is recreated on camera. ‘Graphic’ does not even begin to describe it, as the scene plays out in, what I believe is, real time.

None of this should detract from you seeing this motion picture. It is of the highest quality and will have you discussing it for days to come. ‘2:37' is making the festival rounds. It premiered at Cannes in 2006, where it received a 17 minute standing ovation.
"Overture"

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