SUMMER LOVE, SUMMER LOSS IN AUGUST
Love is a messy business and August, the new DVD release from Wolfe Video, proves it. Jonathan (Daniel Dugan) meets Troy (Murray Bartlett) on Memorial Day and falls in love big time. For Troy, lust may be on the table but love is out of the picture so what starts as a “great summer” is destined to become “a terrible fall”—at least for Jonathan. Troy gives him the old heave-ho and moves to Barcelona leaving Jonathan dejected and depressed. Time passes and the long suffering Jonathan is finally ready to move on. He meets Raul (Adrian Gonzalez) and tries to re-establish some sense of domestic bliss. Raul is a foreign national and marries Jonathan’s friend Nina (Hilary Banks) in hopes of getting his papers and staying in the country so the pair can live happily ever after. Things seem to be going swimmingly until Troy returns from Spain and immediately tries to reconnect with Jonathan. What’s a boy to do? Stick with his new found happy home life or throw caution (and better judgment) to the wind and try to fan the flames of a torrid affair in the hopes of reigniting the sparks of a lost love?
Written and directed by Eldar Rapaport the story unfolds in a semi-linear fashion for no apparent reason. For example, in one scene Troy buzzes his head. Cut to Jonathan with his head also buzzed. Several scenes happen and then we jump back to Troy shaving Jonathan’s head. This technique, which Rapaport only employs a few times, doesn’t add or detract from the story it just really doesn’t serve a purpose. Although, like most romance stories, the writer/director resorts to several trivial and overdone montages to show the passing of time (including the requisite frolic-in-the-surf scene), the script is truthful and complicated. As is often the case in love there are no right, wrong, or easy choices. Nothing is black and white and Rapaport skillfully unravels the web from the viewpoint of all the characters. Raul, probably the one person with the most to lose, is particularly open-minded in his assessment of the situation. It’s adults dealing with adult issues in an adult way and Rapaport keeps the viewers guessing about who will end up with who.
Of course it’s a given that everyone is spectacular to look at, great looks and chiseled physiques, but this is not just merely pretty boys on parade whining about their insignificant problems. What sets the film apart from other Gay-themed romances is not only the quality of the script but the quality of the acting as well. All of the performers portray multi-leveled people you probably know in your real life and as a result you care about what happens to all of them. Inevitably, someone will win and someone will lose, but there will be no one to blame. It’s just the way life works.
And yes there are sex scenes—some poignant and touching and some steamy and salacious—but that’s not really the point here. You want sex, watch a porno. You want a relatable love story, watch August.
written and directed by Eldar Rapaport
not rated; 105 minutes
DVD now available from Wolfe Video, http://www.WolfeVideo.com