Friends or Lovers? Reel Affirmations 13: Washington DC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Date: Wednesday, 10/20/2004
Time: 7:00 pm

Venue: Lincoln Theatre
Tickets: $9 (buy online now)

Type: Collection of short films

Metro Weekly Rating: (3 out of 5)

by Sean Bugg

STRAIGHT-AND-NOT-so-straight men abound in Friends or Lovers, a series of shorts that explores the boundaries of hetero and homosexuality, and reveal two core truths. First, women who have three-ways to find out if their boyfriends like to take it up the butt are destined for some emotional trauma. Second, the best man at a wedding gets more sex than a overworked porn star.

But not all's depressing or matrimonial (or both). In Ritchie's Itch () a straight, bearish construction worker reveals to his co-worker and friend that he's losing sleep over his recent dreams of hot homo-sex in the great outdoors. His friend's screamingly inappropriate questions -- "Did you screw a cow?" "Worse." -- and impromptu "gay test" in the alley thoroughly milked for laughs by the leads.

The Turning Circle () opens with one of the above-mentioned three-ways, immediately followed by an awkward please-don't-tell moment between the male participants. Appropriately as boring and pointless as the awkward soul searching of conflicted twentysomethings after their first three-way. In L'Ultima Notte () a pretty French couple have a three-way with a hot Russian boy, during which the French boy enjoys the anal sex too much. Afterward, everybody cries. Well, except for the Russian boy -- he gets paid.

Straights and gays don't just have three-ways -- they go to the same weddings as well. In Stag Party () , a bride instructs the groom's gay best man to make sure her man doesn't fuck the stripper. Of course, the two men wake up naked in bed the next morning. Over in Spokane: My Brother's Wedding () , the groom's gay brother has a sometimes touching evening of exploration with the best man, although the mood is marred a bit by a boring sex scene that goes on and on, and then goes on some more.

W () is a little French sex farce with a not particularly revealing twist, but it's all just as cute as a button. Presents () , on the other hand, is an excruciating exercise in heavy-handed and obvious writing that purports to be comedy.

More information

Film Links:
· Reel Affirmations details

Festival Venue:
Lincoln Theatre
1215 U Street, NW; Washington, DC 20009. (202) 328-6000. (map)
Directly across from Green Line Metro / U Street-Cardozo station.

You may buy your tickets or passes in advance: Online at or by phone at (800) 494-TIXS (494-8497). Or you may visit the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U Street, NW, WDC); the DCJCC (1529 16th Street, NW, WDC); Lambda Rising (1625 Connecticut Avenue, NW, WDC); or Universal Gear (1601 17th Street, NW, WDC).

For more info visit the official Reel Affirmations website.