JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Shut Up and Kiss Me (Director: Devin Hamilton) - September 2, 2010

Shut Up and Kiss Me

3 3
79 min.

Love at any cost

Gay relationships are poked, prodded and pilloried in director Devin Hamilton’s quick-moving chronicle of thirtysomething men trying to get their love in sync.

Ben (Ronnie Kerr, who also wrote the script) has a four-year-old case of blue balls (although his attempts at video dating and Internet ads give the film some much needed humour in the early going—never to return in the same abundance). When all else fails (and tellingly with a long garden hose in his hands) he finally manages to squirt a daily jogger whose silk shorts carry an unrestrained cargo that is bound to be of interest to either sex—call it love at first shower.

Grey (Scott Gabelein has a lot of fun with the role/roll) is too honest by half. On the second date carpet picnic (I’m not making this up) he confides his HIV status, which is the logical dramatic accompaniment to his inability to remain monogamous. Supposedly better than being found out after the relationship starts to click, his candid (detail-light) confessions of infidelity within hours of cleaning up eventually drive the picket-fence fitness coach into “It’s my house, get out” finality, even as he clutches the adulterer’s tell-more letter while slamming the door.

But it’s a film so nothing ever really ends completely. When a months’ later blind date (Ben’s friends do their best to keep his buff, post-Grey equipment in perfect running order) sends almost everyone scurrying for cover as Ben’s hot ex just happens to be at the next table, the stage is set for another helping of acrimonious discourse or a prelude to round II of the previous little-left-to-the-imagination make-up sex. You’ll have to get a copy to find out which of those narrative doors is opened.

Some of the acting (curiously the smaller the role, the better the result: the principals do their best when falling into love but can’t find the depth when things get rocky) is good, John Munt’s slight score adds some tenderness where required or fun in the vignettes (pizzicato—properly employed as here—can be almost as good as a laugh track; the film’s title song performed by Greg Whipple makes the credits fly happily by) and the camera/editing combination leaves little out of focus or slow even if the exteriors get a bit tiresome.

It’s a breezy comedy that does little harm, but neither does it offer any real hope for the legions of queers (of course none of this goes on in Heteroville) who continue to await the arrival of the object of their perfections. JWR

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