The Perks of Playing Fruits and Boys

Role/Play - A sex tape outs soap opera hunk Graham (Steve Callahan), who's summarily fired. At a Palm Springs resort to decompress, he meets Trey (Matthew Montgomery), a gay marriage advocate whose own relationship is on the skids. After a bumpy introduction, the two hit it off and love blossoms. But there's more to each man's scandalous past than they're ready to admit, and the truth has a way of getting out. David Pevsner and Jim J. Bullock co-star.

(rent/buy) I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Some of the plot and drama felt a little forced, but if you ignore that, it’s a sweet love story about two men who overcome preconceived notions about one another. I personally found the innkeeper to be the best character, but there is a fun collection of four guys, two of whom are the leads, and they all bring something to the table. This is definitely worth a watch, but keep in mind it’s more a short story than a novel. It’s not meaty or heavy, but it did have a moment when my little heart ached.

Fruit Fly - When a performance artist (L.A. Renigen) moves into an artists' commune in San Francisco to work on her latest show and search for her biological mother, she soon realizes she's surrounded by "family" in this musical from H.P. Mendoza. Filled with clever production numbers -- including "Fag Hag" and "Public Transit" -- and creative visuals, the film provides an exuberant tale of artists trying to find their voices.

(rent) This is for a certain set, I'd say. It was oddly enjoyable, sorta well done, and kind of deep. It plays off tons of stereotypes that could either amuse or offend the viewer. I found the lyrics hard to follow and the instruments overwhelmed the words, but it was easy enough to get the gist without them. The film looks at the creative community and the queer community, but doesn't seem to have a strong focus on one plot line. Some of the songs are OK, but some are fairly enjoyable. So, worth a watch, but not something I'd want on my shelf.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - In this engaging coming-of-age tale based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, a shy freshman struggling with depression deals with his best friend's suicide and his first love -- and finds help from two seniors who take an interest in him.

(buy) I read this book (probably around 2003) and when I heard the movie was being made, I was cautiously excited. It’s been a while since I read the book, but the movie feels like an honest and faithful adaptation. I’m sure some things have been changed, but the important rough stuff stayed, which I was concerned they’d toe around. Definitely worth a watch as it’s well acted, well scripted, and overall, very well done. My two friends (who knew nothing about it), also enjoyed it.

Vampire Boys - In this gay-themed horror flick, Jason Lockhart heads the cast as Jasin, a century-old vampire who -- in an effort to save his band of bloodsuckers -- goes on the prowl in Los Angeles looking for an eternal mate. But after settling on a flaxen-haired college beauty who's willing to fill the bill, Jasin finds his plan disrupted when he meets a fresh-faced young student named Caleb (Christian Ferrer).

(rent) This is not an awesome movie. While watching it, I compared it to the first Twilight movie. Mostly awkward acting and bad dialogue. Though by the end I had some serious issues with the main character, who has some very questionable decision-making skills. The leading guys don’t really warm your heart, making it difficult to side with them, although the appearance of an actual antagonist (besides time) helps. A little. Although it’s a little abrupt. I think what this movie suffers from most is being a vampire movie, as everything is trying too hard to be vampire-tastic. Ah well, they can’t all be winners.

Boy Culture - A male prostitute with the enigmatic name of X carefully avoids personal intimacy and affection, maintaining his stoic approach until one of his regular customers tempts him to reconsider his position by sharing a meaningful story.

(buy) This movie surprised me and blew me away. I was expecting a poorly acted porny film with a thin plot to fill in the film description. What I got was well-done sex scenes that were more pan-to-fire-place than porn and was neck deep in emotional plot. It’s very first-person narrative, and elements are very reflective, but it also looks at society as a whole, at people, at relationships, and at changing. I was choked up at least twice and laughed out loud at least once. Plus the eye candy is worth it. Classy and deep, I’ll be watching this one again.

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