a film by David Lewis
2007 | 78 mins | US
›› Rock Haven
religion and homosexuality collide in romantic fashion
Rock Haven by David Lewis Moving to a new area and making friends can be difficult for anybody, even one as beautiful as the coastal region of Rock Haven. Only when devout Christian Brady comes into contact with gay boy Clifford, the question is not so much whether Brady will lie with man as with woman, but whether he can reconcile his religious and sexual yearnings, given in Clifford he has found a sexual openness that lies in stark contrast to his repressed homosexual heart.

Yes you've guessed it, for this is yet another variation on the theme of religion and homosexuality. Only in this instance think Trick but with a religious theme, given Sean Hoagland as Brady is just as sweet in the part as Christian Campbell was in his, whilst Owen Alabado as Clifford shines in the role of the sexually charged hunk of the piece.

Rock Haven by David Lewis Yet here you cannot help but feel that writer, director and cameo actor David Lewis got in the religion versus homosexuality ring, delivered a few blows, but failed to dig deep for the knockout punch. For whilst the requisite scenes of religious wrath and gay self-loathing are to be found, the actual crux of the matter, namely the reconciliation of homosexuality in the face of fundamentalist Christian values, is handled is a lightweight fashion.

As a counterbalance, Lewis fills the screen with a series of panoramic shots of the scenic Bodega Bay location, coupled with seemingly endless displays of gay affection. That such scenes include full-frontal nudity from the leads is surprising, given the whole affair seems more like a telemovie, with the narrative painfully slow at times and the acting often stilted. Not that this applies to Alabado and Hoagland who are charming throughout, aptly expressing the opposing ends of the sexual innocence / confidence scale.

That said and whilst clearly not to the homo-religious core as the like of Latter Days or Priest for that matter, this is still a work with its heart in the right place. Namely Lewis' unapologetically romantic take on gay love and in this instance, the bitter home truth on those who devote their lives to a religious doctrine that condemns their very sexuality. And whilst the message itself is somewhat watered down, the question of whether one's calling to God is greater than one's love for the boy next door, dominates the film. Only does it have to be that way?
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue
starring: Sean Hoagland, Owen Alabado, Laura Jane Coles, Katheryn Hecht, Erin Daly, Johnny Yono
cameo appearance by David Lewis as Reverend Brown
Copyright 2008 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #183
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