›› Tiger Orange ‹‹

a film by Wade Gasque.

2014 | 75 mins | US.

a heart-warming exploration of brotherly love.

Dave says:

From co-writer and director Wade Gasque comes this heart-warming exploration of brotherly love.

Or is it? For it certainly doesn't begin that way, given all but closeted but certainly not celibate Chet (Mark Strano) is as happy to see his openly gay brother Todd (Frankie Valenti), as that of the police arriving at a cruising ground. Resentful of his brother for having left for the bright lights and hedonistic delights of Los Angeles, leaving him to tend to the ailing health of their now late father (Vincent Duvall) along with running the family owned hardware store, Chet has all but sacrificed any hope of finding Mr Right, in order to fit in with the largely narrow-minded views of the folk living in StraightVille. Not that out 'n' proud Todd has any intention of going back in the closet for anyone, if indeed he was ever in, having returned home not to see his brother, but rather on account of having found himself broke and homeless. Both gay and yet polar opposites in so many ways, the two nonetheless share a blood bond that only siblings have. Only when Todd cannot help himself from making eyes and more at Chet's potential boyfriend Brandon (Gregory Marcel); is their brotherly bond set to be broken once and for all?

Co-written by Strano who had previously worked with Gasque on a number of short films, this well-played and beautifully shot feature frankly has a lot going for it, in particular a narrative that achingly juxtaposes the wild side of a man not used to the homophobic attitude of small-town America, with the mentality of a man who has had to endure for the most part, hiding his true sexuality for the sake of social conformity, if not the fear of losing business. To that end, both Strano and Valenti (aka adult film star Johnny Hazzard) excel in their vastly differing roles, even if it's the interplay between them that makes this feature sparkle, with Valenti's reckless character being unashamedly gay to the core, ever challenging his brother to free himself from the responsibilities of work, so as to embrace life, if not love itself.

Intercut with a number of key flashback sequences of the two as their younger selves, together with a spirited turn from Tara Samuel as Chet's in-the-know best friend Rachel, this is a work all about the estranged relationship between two brothers who need each other, even if their sibling animosity doesn't say it. Yet it's also a film about learning to love yourself, in order to find love in the world outside your front door. And whilst there's a few negatives in the mix, including an all but underused Loanne Bishop as store employee and close friend Ann and ditto for Marcel of Sun Kissed fame, let alone the stereotypical or perhaps not so stereotypical homophobic small town cop, there's still a lot to like here, filled as it is with a series of delightful touches and comic asides, even if the ending may be all too neat and tidy for some. As for Valenti; well here he's perfectly cast and in that character he frankly steals the show, making you wonder if perhaps he should now consider a career where he keeps his clothes on! Say no more.

›› available as part of the MATCHBOX FILMS catalogue: 28th March, 2016 / UK.
›› posted: Monday, 21st February, 2022.

Gay Visibility - overt | Nudity - the full monty | Overall - file under ... 3+ stars

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