Where’s that hand going?
Mathew Montgomery (the Gay Movie Lothario)
Brendan Bradley (the half sexy half surprisingly ugly)
Tad Coughenour (the passionless Miles)
Everett (Bradley) and <partner> are in a loveless relationship. Miles goes off on an convenient trip taking the couple’s child with him and Chase (!) (Matthew Montgomery) turns up, all short, dark and handsome, and suddenly passion is part of Everett’s life. Of course they fall in love and have meaningful moments, Chase’s family loves both of them, and Chase is a writer (and Everett a literary critic). As you can imagine they have an affair.
Everett thinks Chase should stop drifting around and evading things. Chase that Everett doesn’t risk anything.
Chase is all pensive and asks his mum what to do. Mum confesses that she had an affair (while Chase wanders around the Redwoods). I think things would have drifted along but luckily Miles telephones to say he’s coming back early and forces the point. Chase extracts a (rather unfair) promise from Everett to meet at some mountain ridge in exactly five years at exactly the same time and spot.
As a parting gift, Everett gives Chase a keepsake box with two keys, one for each of them. Everett tells Chase to watch out for forks in the road. Chase, tearful, tells Everett that he’s not lost anymore. Mutual sobbing and things.
Back comes Miles and the son (who’s autistic – lessening the burden on the young actor). They kinda bash you over the head with how Miles and Everett really don’t have passion – in fact, they don’t even like one another. As Miles goes off to get some de-moulding stuff, Everett packs to leave, but comes up short against the son, who appears upset at the sight of his co-daddy with a suitcase.
It was telling how everyone chez Everett et Miles conspired to deny the reality of what was happening. Everett finds Chase on some mountain side where he went for ‘one last hike’ and kiss and hugs ensue.
A montage of time-lapse shots suggests the passage of time…”Five Years Later” appears on the screen to drive the point home. Everett and Miles seem to be together and a bit more friendly and then up drives Chase (in the same old car with the same old Minnesota plates). Oops, no, it’s a woman – Jessica, who wants to talk. Oh, dear, Chase has died of lung cancer, and has sent Jessica to deliver the box. In the box there’s a picture of Everett and Chase together which is really tearful and romantic and poignant. There’s also harmonica which of course Everett raises to his lips and half plays, tearfully, and a book – Chase’s book – called ‘The Redwoods.’
Turns out that on that ‘one last hike’ when Everett showed up, he and Chase stared meaningfully into each other’s eyes and apparently hugged and kissed in a piney glade.
The filmmakers used a lot of chocolate filters – everything is seen through a brown haze. I think it’s meant to be restrained and remind you of woods.
There’s some really romantic and passionate love scenes between Everett and Chase; if Bradley is straight he’s a damn fine actor. Mind you he does pretty well either way.
Although some of the plot points were driven home pretty ham-fistedly, the director and author managed to preserve a lot of ambiguity, keeping one guessing at various points. The dialogue had few really unbelievable moments; certainly the most difficult, intimate scenes were very real and credible. Really the author had a great way with giving the kind of impressions and verbal cues that could lead to one conclusion or another, deftly mimicking real conversations.
It’s not entirely clear to me what the movie was about – or trying to say. However, I’ll take a stab and say, based on how much more cordially Everett and Miles appeared, that Everett taught Miles to have passion and to believe in his desirability. Or that children spoil everything and glue one to unhappy situations. Or that affairs are good. Anyway, I give it three solid and one faint stars.