Rating: (2 out of 5) Saturday, 10/18/2008, 4:30 PM Feature presentation, $10 at Lincoln Theatre
LIFE IS ALL about struggling to get it right. Especially when coming out, goodness knows that mistakes are going to be made. We can only try to improve upon ourselves. That’s what Finding Me is all about — trying to do something the best you can and knowing that there’s room for improvement. This tenet applies to both the characters in the film, as well as the film itself.
Faybien (RayMartell Moore) isn’t having the best time of things. Still struggling with his mother’s death, he’s in a dead-end job, his father harps on him for everything, he’s out but deeply conflicted, and he doesn’t know which direction is up. His friends, the bisexual Greg (Eugene Turner) and the self-absorbed Amera (J’Nara Corbin) are there for him, but they, too, have room for improvement. When Faybien starts dating the professional and confident Lonnie (Derrick L. Briggs), it’s both a blessing and curse. Lonnie is at once the goal to strive for and a reminder that Faybien isn’t there yet.
Writer-director Roger Omeus Jr. addresses huge, complex issues, both in the African-American community and in the smaller community of friends we surround ourselves with. He has the core of something good — but his movie still needs work. Low-budget production values aside, the film meanders too much to properly track Faybien’s path. The central Faybien-Lonnie story is cute and sexy and Moore and Briggs manage to ignite a little spark on screen, but the secondary characters keep pulling everything too far aside. At times, the entire cast lapses into simply reciting lines rather than infusing them with any life, causing a break in any momentum achieved.
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