Toronto
2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival

In-Person and Online

May 24 - June 1, 2024

 

 

Capsule Reviews of Select Films:

CHUCK CHUCK BABY (UK 2023) **
Directed by Janis Pugh

 

Director Janis Pugh’s feel-good romantic comedy that is filled with popular songs, sung in part by Helen played by Louis Barely and set in a chicken factory sounds more promising than it really turns out,  Helen has a complicated domestic situation: she lives in the same crummy terrace as her oafish husband Gary, from whom she is separated but seemingly not actually divorced, and shares the place with his new, much younger, girlfriend Amy (Emily Fairn) and their newly arrived baby.  Also on the premises is Gary’s terminally ill mother Gwen (Sorcha Cusack), for whom Helen acts as a carer but is the quasi-maternal figure that Helen appears to long for.   The film is Welsh and set in a small Welsh town, so living comfortably with an in-law, is common there though odd in North America.  The individual segments are lively but fail to come together as a whole.  The feel-good ending feels like a complete cop-out too.

Trailer:  

 

 

EXTREMELY UNIQUE DYNAMIC (USA 2023) ***
Directed by Harrison Yu, Ivan Leung and Katherine Dudas

 

In this (likely) first-ever and (possibly) award-winning feature, Ryan and Daniel, two childhood best friends and aspiring actors, spend one final weekend together before Ryan moves from LA to Canada with his fiancé. Wanting to create one lasting memory, they decide to make a movie... about two guys making a movie… about two guys making a movie. Along the way, bottled-up secrets arise as they unpack their decades-long friendship and prepare for the next chapters of their respective lives.

The concept is neat and kind of stoned confusing who the directors play with quite a bit throughout their film.  The concept gets a bit tiring after a while and watching the childish antics of these two young adults can get quite challenging.  But the two actors Harrison and Ivan are quite endearing and they keep pushing the lines until something works.  Thankfully, the film shifts into gear in the second half when thongs get quite tense.  One does sympathize with the gay Daniel who keeps the secret of his sexuality from his best friend Ryan.

The story covers a topic seldom mentioned in films.  How does one tell one’s best friend that one is gay?   The subject is dealt in detail and sincerity upping the film several notches from being just a dumb stoner movie.

EXTREMELY UNIQUE DYNAMIC is maverick no-budget filmmaking and one has to give credit for the filmmakers for their tireless energy.

The Meta-Asian-Stoner-Bromantic-Coming-of-Age Dramedy, EXTREMELY UNIQUE DYNAMIC celebrates its International Premiere at the 2024 Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival May 25th 7 PM at TIFF Lightbox.  Trailer: 

SPARK (USA 2024) ***
Directed by Nicholas Giuricich

 

SPARK is a wildly creative noir-inspired LGBTQ+ drama about a hopeless romantic stuck in a time loop with a handsome and mysterious stranger.  Aaron (Theo Germanine), a hopeless romantic, finds himself reliving the same day after an awkward but intense encounter with the mysterious Trevor (Danell Leyva).  His excitement at the opportunity for a do-over soon turns sour as Aaron suspects Trevor may be the cause of his time loop.  Every time they fuck, Aaron returns to the start of the morning of the events.  Aaron tries to push the boundaries by prolonging the days and eventually figuring out what is happening Director Guiricich’s film takes a while to get its footing, and once it does, it becomes a creative sexy LGBT+ original mystery,  Can Aaron break out of this cycle, or is he destined to live out his life stuck in the same patterns?  SPARK, the film is so called because love begins with a spark that can kindle into a fire.  SPARK is anchored by three standout performances: acclaimed non-binary actors.  The film premiers the first day of the fest, Friday, May 24, 2024, at 9:30 pm.

Comments powered by CComment