Gay-themed films remain anomalies at multiplexes but LGBT options abound for those willing to go beyond the beaten path, especially in DVD land where a bounty of winners — several of which were screened at last year’s Reel Affirmations D.C. gay film festival — will soon be available to watch at home.
Coming soon to theaters:
• “I Love You Phillip Morris” — this long-delayed (it was screened at Sundance in early 2009 and has been in limbo ever since) dramedy stars Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as gay men who fall in love in prison. Distributors admitted they were wary because of a lengthy and intense sex scene between the two stars early in the film. Lewis Tice, director of publicity and marketing at TLA Releasing, said “The depiction of the sexual activity was far more than I’ve ever seen in a mainstream film with a mainstream celebrity” and admitted it had turned off potential distributors. No word on how much of the scene remains — the film was re-edited after Sundance — but the movie, described by Carrey as “a movie about humanity” and “the lengths we go to for acceptance and love,” features several tender moments between the stars. Consolidated Pictures Group will release the film in limited release in U.S. theaters April 30. It’s done decent box office in Russia and France where it was released earlier this year.
• “Sex and the City 2” — The fab four — Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda — return in this second cinematic follow-up to the hit TV show. Opens May 28.
Coming soon to DVD:
• “Prodigal Sons” — with a short run at D.C.’s Landmark E Street Cinema that wrapped last week and a screening at last year’s Reel Affirmations film festival, this gay- and trans-themed documentary has made the rounds but if you haven’t seen it, plan to Netflix it after its May 18 DVD release date. It’s a wonderfully unpredictable family drama about three brothers. One’s gay, one is mentally ill and the other — the filmmaker Kimberly Reed — transitioned to the opposite sex. Reed returns to the rural mid-West for her high school reunion but that’s only the beginning.
• “Sometimes in Life” — Jill, a young fashion designer, finds herself feeling insecure about her relationship with her flirtatious girlfriend and her budding fashion career. The straight life beckons unexpectedly when she meets Rob, a 30-something slacker who’s soul searching following his father’s death. May 18.
• “And Then Came Lola” — A time-bending lesbian romp with an irreverent nod to the popular art-house classic “Run, Lola, Run,” a talented photographer Lola (Ashleigh Sumner) is on the verge of success in both love and career but could lose it all if she doesn’t make it to a crucial meeting on time. Characteristically, she’s late. She races through the streets of San Francisco to meet up with her girlfriend Casey (Jill Bennett). The film drew raves on the gay film circuit last year. It comes to DVD May 18.
• “Greek Pete” — The title character is a popular male escort whom we meet when he arrives in London hoping to establish himself with a nice flat, decent laptop and good promotional photos. The process, in which Pete uses guys working in the sex industry to establish himself, blurs the boundary between fiction and documentary and promises authentic and intimate insights into the lives of male escorts. It comes to DVD May 4.
• “College Boys Live” — Another Reel Affirmations-screened flick, this follows three guys in suburban Florida who start CollegeBoysLive.com, a site on which their lives are aired round the clock from their house, rigged with 32 cameras that film their every move. They say it’s a statement that gays are like everyone else. Their neighbors insist it’s a pornographic whorehouse and sue to have them evicted. It comes to DVD May 4.
• “The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela” — The subtitled story of Raquela, a Filipino trans prostitute, who dreams of escaping her lifestyle and moving to Paris. She turns to Internet porn to make her wishes come true but things take an unexpected turn when she becomes a star. It comes to DVD April 20.
• “The Big Gay Musical” — Another Reel Affirmations vet, this tells the story of Paul and Eddie, who have just begun previews for their Off-Broadway musical “Adam and Steve Just the Way God Made ‘Em.” Their lives oddly mirror the characters they’re playing in the show as they go through an endless series of mishaps including tap-dancing angels, a retelling of Genesis, televangelists, “ex-gay” camp, coming out, Manhunt and more. It comes to DVD April 6.
• “The Awakening of Spring” — This 2008 drama is a non-musical version of the Broadway hit “Spring Awakening,” a gay-inclusive drama about budding sexuality. It comes to DVD April 6.
• “Boycrazy” — A collection of gay shorts including “Fairies,” which inspired gay-themed fantasy “Were the World Mine,” “Teddy,” a wistful story of a man trying to win back his old boyfriend, “The Back Room,” in which two art lovers find unexpected romance, and “Frequent Traveler,” about a man with a crush on an airport guard. It comes to DVD April 6.
• “Focus/Refocus: When Porn Kills” — Joe (Cole Streets) is a porn-obsessed 20-something who loves to film his hot boyfriend Eddie (David Taylor) having sex. Joe receives private home video clips of his favorite gay porn star Dario (Steve Cruz). Things take an ugly turn when guys in the video start turning up dead. It comes to DVD March 30.
• “Drool” — Anora Fleece is stuck in an abusive marriage with ungrateful brats for kids. When Imogene Cochran moves into her neighborhood selling cosmetics, she offers an unexpected friendship that takes a romantic turn. On DVD March 23.