Reel Affirmations 2003
Review by John Murph
Rating: (2 out of 5)
Tuesday, 10/21/2003, 7:00 PM
Feature presentation, $9 at Lincoln Theatre
BOTH HIGH GAY drama and camp, Jason Shafer’s romantic comedy explores emotional dysfunction, and the challenges of keeping a long-term gay relationship afloat after one half’s sexual attraction towards the other begin to wane.
“I just can’t see myself staying with someone who shaves his asshole,” quips Jeremy (Chad Lindsey). He’s referring to Chip (Mark DeWhitt), his hopelessly romantic boyfriend of a little over two years, who attempted suicide after Jeremy tried to break it off. It’s a cold statement that’s indicative of the shallowness of Jeremy, who’s already been through 44 previous boyfriends at the ripe old age of 29. Whiney, self-absorbed, and insecure, he feels trapped by guilt and fear in his monogamous, passive-aggressive, relationship, constantly wondering if there’s someone better suited for him other than his devoted, if simpering boyfriend.
After his initial attempt of ending the relationship fails, the story unravels with the itchy Jeremy engaging in follies that range from callous (hooking up with an ex, catching crabs and giving it to Chip — one of the funnier moments) to just plain boneheaded (convincing a near-trick to seduce Chip).
While the film certainly has its charming moments, it ultimately doesn’t deliver much depth. Commitment-phobes aren’t necessarily evil, but there’s absolutely nothing likable about Jeremy’s insufferable bitchy character; nor is there anything particularly engaging about Chip. The one-dimensionality of the characters paired with hackneyed scriptwriting and wooden performances by DeWhitt and Lindsey make this film a near, total loser.