Rating: (2 out of 5) Monday, 10/19/2009, 9:00 PM Feature presentation, $10 at Shakespeare Theatre’s Harman Center for the Arts
AS A TREE, redwoods are strong, old, and formidable. As a movie, Redwoods is a trifle. A cute trifle at times, but a trite trifle too — think a gay version of The Bridges of Madison County.
Everett (Brendan Bradley) has everything but passion. He and his husband Miles (Tad Coughenour) live in a tiny bucolic town, have a lovely home, and are raising an autistic son together. But that’s about all they do together, so when Miles takes their son away for a week, Everett is immediately smitten by a visiting writer, Chase (Matthew Montgomery). And not only is everyone in this small town, including Everett’s family, improbably cool with the gay bit, they are seemingly okay with Everett’s wandering eye, too.
Bradley, whose jaw line is as strong as a redwood, relies a little too much on lingering looks toward Chase to convey Everett’s feelings. Everett’s conflict between family responsibility and lust doesn’t have deep roots, but Bradley is cute and works his smile. Montgomery adds a little bit more mystery to Chase, but it’s still fairly superficial. While director and writer David Lewis doesn’t break any new ground with the script or cast, he does at least put his actors in beautiful outdoor settings.
Ultimately, Redwoods has everything you’d expect from a cheesy, gay rom/com: bad dialogue, average acting, unnecessary full-frontal male nudity, and sap, sap, and more sap. There are moments so contrived you might gag. But a couple of those syrupy moments have just the right touch of sweetness, too.
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