Treated more like a live-in manservant than a partner, Miles’ love for his boyfriend Everett has, unlike the two-thousand-year-old redwood trees that surround their Northern Californian home, all but died, leaving their long-term relationship passionless, held together solely by way of their devoted care for son Billy; an adorable youth who hasn’t spoken in years.
Yet loyalties are about to be tested, when Miles takes son Billy to visit his grandparents for a week, leaving Everett alone with time on his hands. Or rather with time spent with 'asking for directions' aspiring writer Chase, whose sheer joie de vie reminds Everett of the good times, that once were. Sharing more than just a love of words and the surrounding countryside, it isn’t long before clandestine looks and loving embraces signal to one and all that there’s a new man in Everett’s life. Only what’s a boy to do, when partner Miles and son are set to return home, prompting tough decisions over love and loyalty to fill the clear woodland air?
Laced with more saccharine than that found in a treacle toffee pudding, here writer and director David Lewis of Rock Haven fame has once again gone out of his way to stage a good old fashioned gay love story, as filmed within the breathtaking scenery of the Armstrong Redwood State Park, California, or to be more precise, in and around the gay friendly Russian River resort of Guerneville, USA.
Yet laced between the exquisite scenic cinematography of Joe E Rivera and a story refreshingly set outside the urban beat of city life, lies the performances of boys in love Matthew Montgomery as Chase and Brendan Bradley as ‘caught in a trap’ Everett. That both actors have delivered the gay goods before; Bradley in the shorts Latch Key / 2005, Kali Ma / 2007 and Weak Species / 2009 and Montgomery, whose credentials both as a producer and star of a series of gay features including Gone, But Not Forgotten / 2003, Long-Term Relationship / 2006 and Socket / 2007 do this boy proud, make the requisite scenes of male intimacy, appear natural and yet equally sensuous to the core.
Beautifully photographed and scored, here Lewis has triumphed in delivering a polished gay love story, lump in your throat style. Sure a number of negatives are to be found, not least of which is a conclusion that I dare say is not going to please everyone. But what cannot be said, is that this is not a gay romance served with pride. For like the rural film Big Eden, this marks the perfect night in for gay romantics, being a simple tale of unshakable love beautifully captured. Need more be said? Only that this emotional ode to the power of love went on to win the noted 2009 Iris Prize for Best Feature ... I rest my case M'Lord!